Dental Plaque: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Do you know what the plaque on your teeth truly is?
Dental plaque is an extremely sticky, colorless or pale yellow deposit of film that keeps on building on your teeth. When saliva, food and fluids merge together, plaque - which consists of bacteria - develops between your teeth and along the gum line that can destroy your tooth enamel and gums. Scientists term plaque a “biofilm” since it’s definitely a community of living microbes surrounded by a gluey polymer layer. The sticky coating enables the microbes to stick to surfaces in your mouth so they can advance into strong micro colonies. It makes teeth "feel fuzzy" to the tongue and is most seen when teeth are not brushed.
What Causes Plaque?
Whenever you eat, drink, and breathe, bacteria and other organisms make entry in your mouth. Usually, a delicate balance is maintained in your oral ecosystem, but troubles can spring up when particular strains of bacteria become excessive. When you intake carbohydrates and sugary items and drinks, for example: milk, juice, soft drinks, bread, pasta and fruit, bacteria feast on the sugars, generating acids in the process. Those acids can create trouble such as cavities, gingivitis, and other sorts of tooth decay. Even if you have a history of head/neck radiation or a heavy smoker, then that can also cause plaque.
If tooth plaque is untreated, then it can harden into tough-to-remove tartar.
What are the Symptoms?
- A fuzzy feeling on the teeth
- Chronic bad breath (Halitosis)
- Red, swollen, tender gums that usually bleed after brushing (Gum troubles)
What will your Dentist do in Tomball, TX?
Your dentist can spot plaque on your teeth using a small mirror during your oral examination. Plaque that has hardened into tartar (a hard, yellow or brown deposit that tightly adheres to the teeth) will have to be cleared by your dental professional
at Northampton Dental. Your dentist or oral hygienist can clean it when you go for your regular checkup and Dental cleaning.
How Can Plaque Formation Be Prevented?
- Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft, rounded-tip bristled toothbrush for minimum two minutes. Few dentists recommend electric toothbrushes since they are believed to be more potent at cleaning plaque.
- Pay careful attention to the gaps where the gums and teeth join. Use fluoridated toothpaste.
If you implement all these above healthy oral practices, then you will surely be able to battle plaque, before they start unbalancing your oral health!
- Floss between teeth every day to eliminate food particles and bacteria.
- Remember to include an antibacterial mouthwash in your oral regimen to lessen bacteria growth that cause plaque and gum problems.
- Visit your dentist or oral hygienist every 6 months for a check-up and Teeth Cleaning.
- Maintain a balanced diet and reduce the number of between-meal snacks. Vegetables, like celery, aid remove food particles and help saliva neutralize plaque-causing acids.