Inside Your Mouth: Saliva, Plaque, and Calculus

To get a better understanding of what happens inside your mouth, it is fundamental to learn more about the things that are always already present inside your mouth.

Apart from mouth dwelling-bacteria, among the most common elements that dictate the overall status of your oral health are saliva, plaque, calculus, and bacteria.


Saliva constantly bathes both your dental and periodontal surfaces. Sufficient amounts of saliva are crucial in maintaining a healthy oral environment. While most people don’t really give it much thought, saliva is a remarkable substance that helps protect oral health.

Simply put, saliva actively keeps your teeth and gums moist enough, which in turn prevents harmful bacterial byproduct to accumulate and build up on your dental surfaces. Apart from this, saliva also helps flush away minuscule bits of food that are otherwise stuck on the corners of your teeth and serve as food source to bacteria.


Plaque is a soft gooey film of bacteria that sticks on the outer surfaces of the teeth. Much like the slime of dirt that clings onto the bottom surfaces of public pools, plaque is a biofilm that packs a potent mix of bacterial byproducts that could pose risk to the integrity of your teeth and gums.

Plaque grows along with bacteria populations in the mouth. Contrary to the popular misnomer, it doesn’t take much time for plaque to grow and regrow. Plaque starts to build up shortly after brushing. And within 2-6 hours, plaque can already cause cavities and compromise the overall status of your oral health.


If left uncleaned for an extended period of time, plaque starts to absorb naturally occurring minerals in the saliva. As a result, plaque starts to form crystals and harden into what is referred to as “calculus”. Without proper dental care, this process happens repeatedly as new plaque crystalizes on top of existing layers of calculus.

Dentist In Sunshine Coast 

Smiles Nambour is your reliable partner in achieving beautiful and healthy smiles. Using advanced dental practices and state-of-the-art dental equipment; Smiles Nambour provides the local Sunshine Coast community and its surrounding region with a comprehensive range of modern dental solutions.

Same Day Appointment Available, Request it Now! Call us at (03) 9762 0661. Or book your appointment online.