Many studies and indeed folk lore have suggested that worms may cause tooth decay. Now researchers at the University of Maryland (U-M) Dental School have found that there are some cylindrical objects that grow out of the natural pores in teeth and that these may indeed cause tooth decay.
"Most (dentists) say 'I have no idea'. Others say they are made of bacteria, or minerals, or hyphal branches of yeast cells (C. albicans) which have infected the tooth structure," said co-presenter Gary Hack, associate professor at the Dental School.
Ru-Ching Hsia, director of the electron microscope core facility at the school has photographed these worm-like structures in detail and while there is no evidence that these are actually worms, the researchers insist on using the term.
The details of the study were elaborated at the annual meeting of the Microscopy Society of America.