Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures pp 4187-4187 | Cite as
Plaque; Bacterial Plaque
Dental Plaque is a biofilm that builds up on the surface of the tooth. It consists of oral bacteria, extracellular polysaccharides and proteins and is usually of a pale yellow to white color. The microorganisms present in dental plaque are all naturally present in the oral cavity, and are normally harmless. If not removed by regular toothbrushing, the microorganisms nearest the tooth surface convert to anaerobic respiration and start producing acids. If the process persist, those acids can lead to dental cavities or periodontal problems; the adjacent tooth surface gets demineralized (dental caries) and/or the acids attack the gum activating the body's immune response to infection. Plaque can become mineralized and form calculus.