What is plaque and tartar?

Bacteria associated with plaque and tartar

Bacteria associated with plaque and tartar

Plaque is the sticky off white goo that attaches to the teeth over time. It is made of food, the germs in your mouth and their waste. Sounds gross, right? Plaque is what has the germs in it that smell bad. At night they multiply like crazy because we don't produce as much spit which normally helps wash it away. Your tongue also helps clear it from nooks and crannies of your mouth too. Plaque can be harmful for two reasons. If it sits on your tooth for too long, the waste from the germs is acidic and will eat a hole in your tooth over time - that's what most people call cavities. If it sits on your gums too long, it will start to change into tartar and different germs get involved and they put off toxins that make your bone dissolve - this is what people call gum disease. It is also what makes your gums bleed.