Important Facts about Plaque

Dental Plaque under a Microscope

Blog Highlights:

  • Dental plaque can cause tooth decay and gum disease when left untreated
  • Plaques can harden into tartar or calculus
  • The presence of tartar on the gum line can cause the development of gingivitis
  • Regular dental cleaning and proper oral hygiene can help prevent the development of dental plaque

The sticky film that covers your teeth is known as plaque. Plaque is one of the main causes of tooth decay and gum disease. This is because it is made up of bacteria that release acids on your tooth enamel as they consume the sugars on your teeth. The continuous release of acids on your tooth enamel can cause it to break down and form cavities. Plaques that are not removed through brushing and professional dental cleaning can also harden and form into tartar or calculus. Tartar can be very difficult to get rid of.

When tartar forms on the gum line, the bacteria can make your gums swell. This makes it prone to bleeding. This condition is known as gingivitis and it is actually the first stage of gum disease.  Through regular dental checkups and cleaning, you can prevent plaque buildup. You can also keep your teeth clean and healthy by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and by flossing daily.