HomeGeneral DentistryMateria Alba : Materia Alba vs Plaque vs Calculus

Materia Alba : Materia Alba vs Plaque vs Calculus [2024]

What is Materia Alba?

Materia Alba is a soft chalky white deposit on the tooth surface. It’s primarily composed of bacteria, salivary proteins, epithelial cells, and food debris. It is not a well-organized structure like dental plaque. Materia Alba on teeth it is looks like a curd or cheesy material on teeth.

Materia Alba can be viewed through the naked eye and is soft enough to easily be removed at home with water spray and regular tooth brushing.

Let’s see how the Materia Alba is different from the Plaque and Calculus.

Materia Alba vs Plaque vs Calculus

Here we have explained the difference between Materia Alba, Plaque, and Calculus in tabular format.

Materia AlbaPlaqueCalculus
It is a soft chalky deposit on the tooth surface that looks like curd or cheeseIt is yellow-grayish in color and tightly adhered to the tooth surface.It is a hard substance, forms on the tooth surface due to the mineralization of plaque.
It is composed of bacteria, salivary proteins, epithelial cells, and food debris.It is composed of salivary glycoproteins, lipids, polysaccharides, bacteria and nonbacterial microorganisms like yeast, viruses, etc., and minerals.It is mostly composed of minerals and covered by unmineralized dental plaque.
It is not a complex and well-organized structure like Plaque and Calculus.It is a complex and well-organized structure.It is a very complex and well-organized structure.
It can be removed through water spray, and normal toothbrushing and flossing.It cannot be removed through water spray. Proper tooth brushing and flossing is required to remove plaque.
(flossing first before brushing teeth is recommended)
It cannot be removed through water sprays or regular tooth brushing and flossing. It requires professional cleaning also known as Tooth Scaling and Root Planing at a dental clinic.
Materia Alba vs Plaque vs Calculus

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  1. American academy of Periodontology "Materia alba" : American academy of Periodontology : Materia alba
  2. Grace C. Kimball PH.D, The Relationship of Materia Alba and Dental Plaque to Periodontal Disease (01 July 1952) : https://doi.org/10.1902/jop.1952.23.3.164
  3. Aas JA, Paster BJ, Stokes LN, et al: Deining the normal bacterial lora of the oral cavity, J Clin Microbiol 43:5721, 2005.
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya, BDS
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya, BDS
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya is a registered Dentist and Medical content writer. He owns DentalFord and publishes content related to Oral Health for Oral Health Awareness.



Disclaimer : All the information on the page is for educational purposes only to make you aware, you can’t take it as a substitute for medical advice. If you are facing any health issues it is advised to take direct Medical help from medical professionals immediately.