Plaque is the bacterial film that naturally accumulates on the surface of teeth, especially around the gumline. When this sticky substance is not removed with regular brushing and flossing, it hardens into a buildup known as tartar. Both plaque and tartar can lead to serious dental issues that can be avoided with proper dental hygiene and regular checkups.
After eating, the sugars in foods and beverages combine with saliva to create bacteria, a process that occurs within four to 12 hours. That’s why it’s so important to brush and floss after every meal. When plaque is left on the teeth, the bacteria attack the tissue and bone, damaging tooth enamel and leading to cavities and gum disease.
When plaque is allowed to build up, the deposits enlarge and begin to calcify into tartar. This hardened substance traps stains, discoloring the teeth and causing medical issues, such as gingivitis and gum disease, as well as cosmetic concerns. Tartar appears as a yellow to brown deposit, while plaque is pale yellow or colorless.
Fortunately, the dental problems caused by plaque and tartar can be prevented with a few simple steps:
Scheduling a routine dental check-up and cleaning is essential to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Make an appointment with Guri S. Dhaliwal DMD to combat plaque and tartar issues and to receive a comfortable dental experience with spa-like amenities. Fill out our online patient request form to schedule a check-up, cleaning, or other dental services.