What is Plaque?

Plaque is sticky and slimy and otherwise, undesirable; and if you’re not brushing and flossing you probably have your fair share.  But, take it from us: you don’t want it!

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth and if it’s not removed on a regular basis it can cause cavities and gum disease.  If you don’t brush and floss daily it will eventually harden and become tarter.  When tarter forms, brushing and flossing become even more difficult.  If the situation gets out of control tarter collects along the gum line and this tarter, along with the increase in plaque can cause your gums to become red and swollen.  This is known as gingivitis, which is an early stage of gum disease or periodontal disease.  It’s very important to get proper treatment if you get to this stage because it is still reversible.  You do not want it to progress into gum disease!

Symptoms of plaque include a fuzzy film on your teeth, bad breath, and red, swollen gums.  However, you may not know you have plaque because it is hard to see but keep in mind that it is always growing in your mouth whether you know it or not.  For this reason it’s important to brush twice a day for two minutes each time, floss at least once daily, and don’t forget to get your regular dental cleanings.  It may be tempting to skip them but skipping your cleanings will only mean more time in the dentist chair later.

To learn more, watch this video about Plaque from the American Dental Association.