Top of the page
Plaque is a clear, sticky substance made in the mouth. It clings to the teeth and gums. Plaque has bacteria that make acids and other chemicals that can damage the teeth, gums, and bone if the plaque is not removed.
Plaque forms all the time, but it can be controlled by proper brushing and flossing.
If plaque is not removed, it hardens into a rough substance called tartar or calculus. This is hard to get off the teeth. It is often removed as part of a dental cleaning and examination.
Current as of: November 14, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.