Plaque is a colorless biofilm that forms naturally on your teeth because of eating, drinking, and sleeping. It is considered a microbial community that consists of as many as 1,000 distinct bacterial species. Calcium and phosphorus make up a large part of plaque. Plaque can be found on the surface of the tooth or on your gums. Foods and drinks containing carbohydrates are the biggest plaque producers because bacteria flourishes with foods such as soda, milk, candy, and other sweets. The bacteria then produces an acid that deteriorates the tooth over a period of time. At first, plaque is an easily removable substance, but if left, it can turn into calculus which is a substance that is very difficult to remove. A build-up of plaque can eventually lead to tooth decay which then leads to cavities. If plaque forms and festers on or around the gums, it can cause gingivitis as well.

Don't be alarmed by plaque. It is natural. A tooth will only be free of plaque for only 1 or 2 minutes after it has been cleaned. Plaque becomes a problem if not removed regularly. Prevention is the best way to get rid of plaque. Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing appropriately will reduce the amount of plaque that accumulates on your teeth and gums. Regular visits and cleanings from your dentist is another great solution to the problem of plaque.

Fighting plaque never ends, but with the proper daily oral care you can stay on top of it.


Definitions related to Plaque

Biofilm:  a film of bacteria that stick to the surface

Calcium:  a chemical element found in tissue that advocates the building and maintaining of hard tissue such as bone and teeth.

Calculus:  an accumulation of plaque that has hardened

Phosphorus:  a chemical element that helps the building and maintaining of hard tissue.


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