Dentist located in: OR
Dentistry.com dental articles & forum
Home Conditions Treatments Dental Daily Care Dental Forum Product Showcase Are You a Dentist?
Looking for a
Dentist for Gum Disease?
Do you have dental coverage?
Home > Dental Conditions > Gum Disease > Gum Disease Symptoms & Causes > Plaque Causes and Prevention
Bookmark and Share

Plaque: Causes and Prevention

Good oral health care can prevent plaque.

What is dental plaque?
Plaque is a colorless film that is constantly forming in the mouth. It is made up of a combination of bacteria, saliva and acids that form into a sticky deposit — adhering to the teeth. Plaque can irritate the gums and the acids can destroy the tooth's enamel surface — causing holes or cavities. When plaque isn't removed, it turns into calculus and tartar. Tartar is too difficult for an individual to remove via at-home cleaning and will often need to be removed via a professional dental cleaning.

What is a "plaque attack"?
A "plaque attack" occurs when sugar and acids in the mouth begin to dissolve the enamel on the tooth and starts to decay.

How can you prevent plaque?
Good oral hygiene —including brushing at least twice a day and flossing — and regular dental exams will help eliminate plaque and tooth decay. Dentists also recommend eating nutritiously and limiting the number of between-meal snacks.

Who is affected by plaque?
Plaque affects those as young as 6 months who are just getting their primary teeth, and it continues to form in your mouth until you die.

What if plaque is not removed?
If plaque is not removed, it can lead to periodontal disease (gum disease). The two most common forms of gum disease are gingivitis and adult periodontitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation or infection of the gums (gingiva) and it is an early stage of periodontal disease. Gums become red, inflamed and swollen. If not treated, gingivitis may progress to adult periodontitis, a more serious stage of gum disease, that can lead to tooth loss.

When should you contact a dentist?
The Chicago Dental Society recommends visiting the dentist at least every six months for a cleaning and a thorough examination. If you experience any problems with your gums or teeth, you should consult a dentist immediately.

Do you think you might have a problem with plaque? Don't wait until it gets worse call us at 1-866-970-0441 to find a great dentist today.


Bad Breath
Cleft Palate
Cold Sores
Dental Anxiety
Dental Emergency
Gum Disease
Mouth Problems
Oral Cancer
Sleep Apnea
Teeth Problems
Wisdom Teeth
See All
Cosmetic Dentistry
Dental Braces
Dental Implants
Dental Restorations
Exams & Cleaning
Fillings & Sealants
Gum Disease Treatment
Oral Surgery
Root Canal Therapy
Sedation Dentistry
Teeth Whitening
Tooth Extractions
See All
Dental Financing
Dental Hygiene
Nutrition Information
Overall Health
Pediatric Dentistry
Senior Dental Care
Your Dentist Visit
See All