What is Plaque?
When you eat foods that produce acids, bacteria forms on your teeth, creating a substance called plaque. Foods such as carbohydrates, which include starches and sugars, are a catalyst. They might include candy and cookies or starchy foods such as bread, crackers, or cereal.
Tooth decay can occur if plaque remains on your teeth for long periods of time. This allows the bacteria to erode the surfaces of your teeth and gums. The most vulnerable areas, surprisingly, are those that include restored portions of teeth like fillings, or amalgams. These are breeding grounds for bacteria.
Plaque will cause gum irritation, as well as soreness, and redness. You might experience bleeding of the gums as a result. Eventually what happens is that gums pull away from teeth. The condition is referred to as receding gums.
You want to have plaque removed during your regular visits to your dentist. If it is left untouched for a long period of time, it can cause serious problems. It’s not unusual to have bacteria form pockets of disease around tooth structures. This will eventually damage the bone that rests beneath the tooth.