Plaque is the pale film of bacteria that attaches on the tooth surface. Plaque is developed when bacteria present in the mouth act on food debris (mainly sugar and starch) to produce acids. These acids erode the teeth enamel causing teeth decay. It can also destroy the bone supporting the tooth by acting on tooth roots and gums. Plaque can be prevented by following a regular dental regimen which includes brushing and flossing regularly coupled with regular visits to your dentist. Eating a healthy diet by limiting the amount and frequency of sugars and starch may also reduce the risk. According to the American Dental Association use of an anti bacterial mouthwash also helps reduce the formation of plaque by controlling the growth of bacteria. If not removed for a long time, plaque hardens and forms calculus or tartar which is a major factor for periodontal disease. Your dentist may suggest Scaling procedure to remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surface.
Authored By Dr. Shylaja S Prasad - Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics, Bangalore