Plaque is sticky and colourless; it contains bacteria that build up naturally on tooth surfaces and especially along the gum line. Sugars in food and drinks can combine with plaque bacteria to release acids. These acids attack tooth enamel and break it down, which can then create cavities. Plaque bacteria can also contribute to gum disease, like gingivitis. Regular brushing and flossing are your most effective tools in the fight against plaque. If it’s not removed daily, plaque eventually accumulates and hardens into tartar.
Tartar, sometimes called calculus, is plaque that has hardened on your teeth. Tartar can also form at and underneath the gum line and can irritate gum tissues. Tartar is formed when residual plaque on the surface of the tooth reacts with minerals in your saliva. Only a dentist can remove tartar.
Ian, the Mosman dentist. Dentist Mosman.