Home » Conditions » Plaque

What is plaque?

Plaque is formed of microbes; plaque builds up around the teeth and gum-line as a result of residue from food and drinks. Plaque forms around the teeth when the mouth is improperly cleaned.


Plaque can cause bad breath and lead to the decay of teeth so it’s important to clean the teeth at least twice a day for no less than two minutes. Utilising floss beforehand to dislodge any food and bacteria that may have been caught in the crevices between the teeth and by the gums.


What causes plaque?

Plaque is caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth, the bacteria/ microbes form a biofilm over the teeth. The texture of plaque is initially chalky and sticky, allowing it to stick to the teeth.


Foods that contain sugars, acids and carbohydrates can feed the bacteria that forms the plaque. The acids contained in those foods can also cause the teeth to decay and gum disease to develop.


How to prevent plaque?

The best method to prevent plaque from forming is to instil a routine of good oral hygiene habits. You will need to brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Before you brush you should utilise a tooth floss, water flosser, interdental brushes, or dental tape to remove and lingering particulates from between the teeth and gums. Then you will need to brush the teeth, we recommend using a fluoride toothpaste. When spitting out the toothpaste and saliva, avoid rinsing as this will negate any of the positive effects of the fluoride toothpaste.


Utilise a mouthwash, when necessary, although it is typically not needed when properly brushing and flossing the teeth. If you are to use a mouthwash, we suggest using one containing fluoride.


How to treat plaque?

Plaque is very easy to treat in the early stages, simply brushing and flossing at home can un-do the plaque growth. However, once plaque has solidified to the tooth the dentist will need to scale the teeth using water and particulates to breakdown the matter.


How to spot plaque/ symptoms?

Plaque appears as a white, yellow, beige, or light brown matter, it will feel slightly sticky and may be chalky or like a paste on the teeth.


When we wake up in the morning and feel a gritty texture over our teeth, that is the microbiome building up over the night. This gives insight to what it can feel like.


Where are we?

Just a short-walk from the nearest tube and DLR stops, German Dental is conveniently situated in the City of London, opening Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm for appointments.


German Dental Clinic
1-3 College Hill
Lower Ground


Nearby Tube Stations

Cannon Street

Cannon Street

0.2 miles


0.4 miles


0.4 miles

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