What Is Arterial Plaque?

Arterial Plaque,Blocked Arteries,Clogged Arteries,Atherosclerosis

You have probably heard of plaque on your teeth, but your body also has another type of plaque. This is plaque that builds up in arteries - the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from your heart to your body's tissues.

What Is Plaque Made Of?

Plaque in the arteries is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood that forms deposits in the artery wall. These deposits can narrow the artery and reduce blood flow. This is called atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries." Plaques can also rupture and create a blood clot at the rupture site, as your body's natural processes try to repair the "injury." The blood clot can cut off blood flow through the artery and starve your body's tissues of oxygen and nutrients. Therefore, a ruptured plaque can be serious: It is the most common cause of a heart attack or stroke.