The Sticky Truth: What is Plaque Exactly and Why is it So Bad?


Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth and along the gum line. It’s a natural occurrence, but when it’s not removed regularly, it can lead to serious dental problems. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your dental health in shape and your smile bright.

A Collection of Bacteria

Plaque is made up of bacteria, which naturally live in your mouth. When you eat, the bacteria in your mouth mix with the sugars and starches in your food to create acids. These acids attack your tooth enamel and can lead to cavities.

The bacteria in plaque also produce toxins that can irritate your gums, leading to gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.

Tartar is Hardened Plaque

When plaque isn’t removed regularly, it can harden into tartar. Tartar is a hard, yellowish substance that forms on your teeth and along your gum line. It’s much harder to remove than plaque and can only be removed by a dentist.

Tartar can lead to serious dental problems, including gum disease and tooth loss. It can also make it more difficult to brush and floss your teeth, leading to even more buildup.

How to Prevent Build Up

The best way to prevent plaque and tartar is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings.

You should also avoid foods that are high in sugar and starch, as these can contribute to continuous buildup. Instead, try to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.


Taking care of your dental health is important for your overall health. By practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly, you can prevent plaque and tartar buildup and keep your teeth and gums healthy. Contact Temple Dentistry today to ensure your teeth are healthy.