Dental Plaque and How it Develops

Anyone who has seen a mouthwash commercial has heard the term “plaque,” but how many really know what plaque is? Many people tend to think that brushing once or twice a day, along with some occasional flossing, will be enough to keep dental plaque away. However, is this enough to keep you from having to visit the dentist every six months? The answers may surprise you.

What is Dental Plaque?

Plaque forms as the result of bacteria in the mouth, and their biological processes when foods (like sugars and carbohydrates) are ingested. The bacteria consume the food particles and metabolize the carbs to form acids that eat away at the enamel protecting your teeth. Other bacteria can produce toxins, gases, and other harmful substances that can eventually lead to gum disease, bad breath, or worse if you don’t practice good hygiene.

Porphyromonas Gingivalis: The Gum Disease Germ

Porphyromonas gingivalis can be rather deceptive, since it is able to fool the immune system while it remains present in your oral tissues. The bacteria’s insidiousness makes them one of the more notable threats to your oral and overall health. By fooling the immune system, they incite unchecked inflammation in your gum tissues, and the destruction of progressive gum disease.

Preventing Dental Plaque

Frequent brushing and flossing are the main deterrents to dental plaque, but regular dental checkups are needed to thoroughly remove it and catch the onset of a dental disease. Neglecting plaque will allow it to calcify into tartar: the harder substance that no amount of brushing or flossing can eliminate from your teeth.  During your dental visit, we’ll also thoroughly clean away the tartar that stubbornly protects your oral bacteria, thereby reducing your risks of developing a dental health issue.


Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.