Dental plaque is a bio-film or mass of bacteria that grows on surfaces within the mouth. It is a sticky colorless deposit at first, but when it forms tartar it is brown or pale yellow that is commonly found between the teeth, front of teeth, behind teeth, on chewing surface, along the gum line, or below the gum line cervical margins.
Dental plaque is also known as microbial plaque, oral bio-film, dental bio film, dental plaque bio film or bacterial plaque bio film. While plaque is commonly associated with oral diseases such as caries and periodontal diseases (gum diseases), its formation is a normal process that cannot be prevented.
Dental plaque can give rise to dental caries (tooth decay) – the localised destruction of the tissues of the tooth by acid produced from the bacterial degradation of fermentable sugar – and periodontal problems such as gingivitis and Periodontitis. Its progression and build up is what leads to oral problems, hence it is important to disrupt the mass of bacteria and remove it daily.
Plaque control and removal is achieved with correct tooth brushing and use of inter dental aids such as dental floss and inter dental brushes.
bio-film is important as it may become acidic causing Demineralisation of the teeth (also known as caries) or harden into calculus (dental) (also known as tartar). Calculus cannot be removed through tooth brushing or with inter dental aids and can only be removed through professional cleaning. Therefore, removal of the dental bio-film will prevent the development of caries and gum diseases.