Plaque is the term given to the clear sticky film that forms a layer over teeth. The plaque over time can become tartar (or calculus) which is a more harder substance and usually forms along the lining of teeth and gums. Plauque and tartar both contain bacteria which can breakdown gums and teeth resulting in tooth decay.
Poor oral hygiene, avoiding the dentist and consuming too much sugary food can result in increased plaque buildup which then leads to tartar and ultimately tooth decay.
The treatments include improved oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups, dental cleanups and a carefully managed diet.
Not only does plaque and tartar lead to loss of teeth as a result of tooth decay, but can also result in gum disease.