One of the main causes of tooth decay is buildup of plaque on the tooth creating an environment in which bacteria will eat away at tooth enamel, cause inflammation and/or bleeding of the gums, and induce infection within the inner tissues of the tooth – the pulp and roots.
Plaque can also ruin fillings or other dental restorations in your mouth resulting in costly repairs.
If left untreated, the decay process will cause gums to pull away from the teeth, lead to infection, eat away at the underlying bone structure, and eventual loosening of the teeth and tooth loss.
Inside an infected tooth, decay will gradually destroy the dentin (inner layer) and the pulp containing blood vessels, nerves and other root tissues.
Foods and beverages rich in sugar and carbonated beverages encourage plaque to form. This includes juice which often has high sugar content, though is often considered as a substance that may be harmful to the health of your teeth.