CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dental plaque and tartar. Clinical view of a the teeth in a patient's lower jaw, with the incisors coated in bacterial plaque and tartar (brown). Tartar (calculus) is a calcified deposit that is formed on tooth surfaces. It hinders the cleaning of teeth. Plaque is the main cause of tooth decay. It is a sticky coating that consists of saliva, bacteria and particles of food. A retractor (upper right and upper left)) is being used to keep the lips away from the teeth. The teeth are seen from behind. For these teeth from the front, see image C010/5998.
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