PLAQUE - Watsons Health
Plaque - WatsonsHealth


Plaque refers to the clear and sticky film made up of bacteria and debris that forms on the teeth. It is most noticeable when the teeth are not brushed.

Plaque forms when a person eats foods that contain high amounts of carbohydrates such as rice, bread, milk, candy,and soda. Bacteria begin to eat these food remnants and produce acids. The acids soon destroy the tooth enamel, further causing tooth decay. Plaque often develops on the root of the teeth near the gum to cause decay in the bone that supports the tooth.


Dental plaque can be classified according to the following types:

  • Relationship to the gum line: subgingival or supragingival
  • Relationship to the tooth surface: attached or unattached
  • Disease state, whether health-associated or disease-associated



Plaque is initially colorless, but it soon calcifies to become yellow or brown. Intake of wine, tobacco, coffee, and tea can worsen this discoloration. When there is tooth decay, there is also tooth pain.


The only way to know whether you have plaque or not is to see the dentist. The dentist will ask for your lifestyle habits as well as accompanying symptoms. He or she will then examine your mouth and teeth using special instruments.



Removal of hardened plaque cannot be done just at home but in a dentist’s clinic. The dentist will do professional cleaning using a process called scaling so that plaque buildup can be removed from your teeth. The dentist may use special instruments to scrape hardened plaque from your teeth and near the gumline.

You can prevent further plaque formation by brushing and flossing every day. You should also refrain from eating too many sweets.

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