Dental plaque is a biofilm that attaches to tooth surfaces, restorations and prosthetic appliances (including dentures and bridges) if left undisturbed. Understanding the formation, composition and characteristics of plaque helps in its control.
An acquired pellicle is a layer of saliva that is composed of mainly glycoproteins and forms shortly after cleaning of the teeth or exposure of new teeth.
Bacteria then attach to the pellicle layer, form micro-colonies, and mature on the tooth, which can result in oral diseases.
The following table provides a more detailed (six-step) explanation of biofilm formation:
Components of plaque
Different types of bacteria are normally present in the mouth. These bacteria, as well as leukocytes, neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes, are part of the normal oral cavity and contribute to the individual's health.Approximately 80–90% of the weight of plaque is water. While 70% of the dry weight is bacteria, the remaining 30% consists of polysaccharides and glycoproteins.