What is the difference between plaque and tartar?

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque formation is a natural process that occurs in the mouth throughout the day.

Plaque forms when bacteria in the mouth combine with saliva and food particles to create a sticky, colourless film on the surface of teeth. The bacteria in plaque use the sugars from the food we eat to produce acid, which can erode the enamel and lead to tooth decay.

If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which is much more difficult to remove and can lead to gum disease. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional using specialised tools.

Plaque can form on any surface of the teeth, including the areas between teeth and around the gum line. This is why it is important to brush twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque from all surfaces of the teeth.

Some factors that can contribute to an increased risk of plaque buildup include poor oral hygiene habits, a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates, dry mouth, and certain medical conditions.
Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help remove any built-up plaque and tartar and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. If you have concerns about plaque buildup on your teeth, speak with the team at Bite Dental in Brisbane to determine the best course of action for your oral health.

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