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Tooth Decay

What is tooth decay?

Tooth enamel is hard yet porous.

Plaque on the surface of your teeth can produce acids that seep into the pores (rods) of the enamel and break down its internal structure.

This process, called demineralization can create a weak spot on the surface of the tooth that may become a cavity if left untreated.

Tooth Development

  • It takes nearly two decades for our complete set of teeth to form, develop and finally erupt.
  • The process starts in the womb and continues into the teenage years.
  • Different teeth undergo stages of development at various times.
 
For example, while some of the front teeth may have already erupted into the mouth, some of the back teeth will have chewing surfaces just beginning to calcify within the jawbones.
 
The primary teeth begin to calcify before birth when the fetus is about three months old. The chewing parts of all the baby teeth are completed about one year after birth.
When babies are about three months old the first of the 32 adult teeth begin their calcification within the jawbones. The last of the adult teeth complete their root formation some 16 to 20 years later.