When dental plaque is left undisturbed on the surface of the teeth, tooth decay, or cavities, develop. Decay is the result of demineralization of the tooth enamal by acids that have built up within the undisturbed plaque. Introducing flouride ions to the teeth can limit the progression of the cavities because fluoride has been shown to aid in the remineralization of tooth enamel. Unfortunately, if decay progresses into the inner tissues of the teeth, cavities may form, pain may occur, and removal of the affected tooth may be required.
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