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How Dental Plaque Affects Your Teeth

Updated: Mar 20





Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless or yellowish film that forms on your teeth. It develops along the gum line from a combination of saliva, food and fluids that contain bacteria. Dental plaque starts building up on your teeth 4 to 12 hours after brushing. Another good reason to brush thoroughly at least twice a day and floss daily.

Though plaque is mostly colorless, it can produce acid, which in turn affects your oral health. Over time, if the plaque is not removed it will harden into tartar or dental calculus. The tartar becomes strongly bonded to the tooth’s enamel and only a dental professional can remove it.

Conditions Related To Plaque And Tartar

Cavities – the acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can cause low pH level and can eat away at tooth enamel.

Gingivitis – accumulation of plaque bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums.

Bad Breath– plaque buildup from poor dental hygiene can also cause bad breath.

Who May Be More Likely To Get plaque?

Although everyone has dental plaque, you may be more susceptible if you:

  • Consume a lot of sugary or starchy foods or drinks

  • Have dry mouth due to medications

  • Have a history of head/neck radiation

  • Smoke

How To Combat Plaque

Staying on top of your oral health and preventing plaque buildup on teeth is the best way to prevent tartar. The American Dental Association recommends to Brush and floss every day. Visit your dentist every 6 months. Adults who see their dentists regularly are less likely to have plaque related dental diseases.


To find out more about the dental services offered by our dentist in Albuquerque NM, Dr. Snyder, call (505)-293-7611, schedule an online consultation or visit us at 4830 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, Ste. K, Albuquerque, NM, 87111.

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