More people get tooth decay, or cavities, than any other disease. Almost everyone in the world has a cavity sometime during his life.
How, then, do you get cavities? After you eat, tiny bits of food are left in your teeth. Bacteria that live on your teeth cause these bits of food to form an acid. This acid starts to eat away at the enamel, the outside covering of your teeth. This eating-away then goes deeper, to the dentin, the layer beneath the enamel and creates a hole, or a cavity.
If your tooth is not filled quickly, the cavity goes even deeper and reaches the soft pulp layer, which contains blood vessels and nerves. A cavity this deep can become infected. Not only is this a very painful toothache, but the infection can be carried to other parts of your body.
Therefore, to avoid this pain and infection, you should always brush your teeth very carefully several times a day to remove the food bits from your teeth.
Animals get cavities too, and they must be treated or the tooth pulled by a veterinarian!