Many types of materials accumulate on teeth. By far the most widespread and important deposit is dental plaque. Plaque consists primarily of microorganisms in an organized matrix of organic and inorganic components. Bacteria account for at least 70% of the mass of plaque. In fact, one cubic millimeter of dental plaque contains more than 100 million bacteria consisting of more than 400 species. The organic matrix of plaque consists of polysaccharide, protein, and lipid components, while the inorganic matrix is composed primarily of calcium and phosphorous ions.
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