When you talk about dental health, you have probably heard the term “dental plaque.” Everyone has plaque – that sticky deposit of biofilm that forms on your teeth regularly. It’s that slippery coating you feel when you run your tongue on your teeth every morning. The accumulation of plaque can lead to a substance called tartar. Tartar usually builds up along the gum line – on the front and back of the teeth.
How do you get a plaque?
When you eat and drink, bacteria and other organisms linger inside your mouth. Usually, your mouth does have equilibrium to maintain everything inside. However, when there is an imbalance, a problem will occur. For example, when a particular strain of bacteria becomes overly abundant, that’s when you get dental issues. Eating and drinking too much sugar can cause cavities causing bacteria to feed on it and produce acids in the process. These acids can cause serious problems such as cavities and tooth decay.
Plaque is tough to beat
Your teeth may look clean, but they are still accumulating plaque. You can’t see the plaque, and even if you already brush your teeth, it will still form on your teeth and gum line. If it is not removed, it will lead to tartar. As the plaque accumulates on the tartar, it will cause an oral infection known as gingivitis. You will know when you are suffering from gingivitis because you will have symptoms such as swollen or sore gums and may experience bad breath. Gingivitis is not a life-threatening condition as it can be treated with proper oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for checkup and cleaning.
Apart from gingivitis, untreated plaque can also lead to periodontitis. With periodontitis, the bacteria attach to the teeth along the gum line causing infection within the teeth’ pockets. It can lead to swollen or bleeding gums, pocketing around the teeth, and the teeth may become loose, leading to tooth loss. At this point, you are required to seek the help of your dentist or a dental hygienist to discuss your dental treatment to save your teeth.
Can you treat plaque?
Plaque forms on your teeth even after you brush your teeth but brushing regularly or at least twice a day can keep the plaque germs at bay. Some dentists may also recommend using electric toothbrushes because they are said to be more effective in removing plaque. Also, toothpaste with baking soda content is a great way to remove plaque too. However, plaque that has already hardened into tartar should be removed only by a dentist. This is the main reason why it is essential to visit your dentist regularly for dental checkup and cleaning. Your dentist can keep your plaque buildup under control, and thorough cleaning can prevent tartar from forming.
Fighting plaque is an essential factor in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. The good news is, with proper dental hygiene and short trips to your dentist, you can keep the growth of plaque at a minimum level keeping your mouth and teeth clean and healthy.