• Plaque is film that forms on teeth that consists of bacteria, sugars, proteins and fatty substances. The bacteria make acids that erode tooth enamel and cause cavities.

    Where It Forms

    Plaque can develop on teeth above, below and along the gum line. If it is not removed, it can harden into tartar, a hard, yellow substance.

    What It Does

    Plaque accumulation can damage teeth and gums. The longer that plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the more they irritate the gums.


    Poor grooming, tobacco use, disease conditions and infection, aging, decreased immunity, medications, hormonal changes, poor nutrition, substance abuse and poor dental work can contribute to plaque formation and gum disease.


    Gum disease can lead to tooth loss. As the gums become irritated and erode, there is less tissue to hold the teeth in place.


    Brushing, flossing and regular dental cleaning can reduce tartar formation, which is an accumulation of hardened plaque.


    Practicing good overall health habits and eating fewer sugary foods can also cut down on the formation of plaque. Having regular health checkups and getting dental work done by a good dentist will go a long way in increasing oral health and prolonging the life of the teeth and gums.



    The Oral Environment

    Dental Plaque

    More Information:

    Dental Plaque and Gum Disease

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