Plaque VS. Tartar


Plaque and tartar are not one in the same.  Tartar is more severe than plaque.  Tartar can become a serious issue if not quickly taken care of.  Here are the differences to help sort out any type of confusion between the two.

Plaque is an accumulation of bacteria and particles that build up naturally on the tooth surfaces.

– Sticky
– Colorless
– Full of bacteria

When sugar comes in contact with plaque, acids are released.  These acids then attack the tooth enamel causing it to break down which in turn can lead to…. CAVITIES!  When the tooth enamel is broken down, not only do cavities form, this can then contribute to early stages of gum disease, such as Gingivitis.

The best way to prevent any of the above issues from occurring is to take good care of your teeth, gums and mouth!  Brushing and flossing are key components to getting rid of plaque and clearing off the sugary acids from the teeth.

If plaque build-up remains on your teeth, it begins to harden forming tartar

– Tough
– Hard
– Crusty
– Traps stains
– Causes discoloration

The simple act of daily brushing and flossing will not remove tartar.  After plaque has formed in to tartar, the next step would be getting to the dentist.  Your dentist is the only one that will be able to remove the tartar from your teeth.

To avoid plaque and tartar altogether, proper oral health care maintenance needs to be administered on a daily basis.  Plaque is inevitable and will form on tooth surfaces.   Removing the plaque and not allowing it to sit on your teeth prevents it from evolving into tartar as well as the enamel-attacking acids, cavities, and gum disease.

So remember, brush your teeth regularly, twice a day, floss those gums daily and take care of your mouth.


Periodontics and Implants – Diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology

10425 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Suite 102, Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Phone: (916) 965-7444 – Fax: (916) 965-9372


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