Dental Tips Blog

Jul
31

Is There a Difference Between Plaque and Tartar?

You’ve heard the ads. Just about any product promoted for cleaning your teeth claims to fight plaque and tartar. But just what are these icky and unwelcome substances? Why should you be trying to fight them off?

The Daily Battle with Plaque

Plaque is a clear or white film made of:

  • Bacteria
  • Food debris
  • Natural fluids from your mouth

There’s no way that you can avoid plaque 100% of the time. It’s a natural biofilm, but it is also potentially very dangerous.

Plaque trapped between teeth can trigger cavities because of the acids produced by some bacteria. Plaque left along the gum line for more than a day can irritate your gums. This results in the inflammation known as gingivitis. If left unchecked, gingivitis can advance to a more serious form of gum disease, periodontitis.

When germs collect on a tooth surface and begin multiplying, they develop a protective film. This is the start of dental plaque, and this process can begin on a clean tooth surface within hours!

Why Tartar Is Not Good for Teeth Either

Undisturbed plaque deposits mix with minerals in your saliva and turn into – yes, you guessed it! Tartar.

Better known as “tartar,” calculus is the substance that results when plaque is not removed regularly. It can form at a more rapid rate in some individuals than others. Calculus provides the ideal surface for disease-causing bacteria to hide out on. Unless it is removed, it can easily encourage gum inflammation.

A Clean Smile is a Healthy Smile

Adult mouths, young mouths, and even mouths with few natural teeth can all develop dental plaque. A good routine of oral hygiene is important for keeping plaque and tartar deposits at bay. Visit your local dentist for professional dental cleanings at least every 6 months.

Posted on behalf of:
Meadowbrook Family Dental
8848 Calvine Rd #120
Elk Grove, CA 95828
(916) 912-4126

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