About Dental Plaque

One of the most common oral health conditions is the formation of plaque and tartar. With proper care, plaque buildup can be greatly diminished, and the formation of tartar can be prevented. Without proper care, plaque and tartar can cause more serious health concerns to occur.

But what is plaque? What happens if it isn’t treated? And what treatment methods are available?

Below is more information about dental plaque.

About Dental Plaque

Dental plaque is caused when bacteria build up on teeth and form a sticky film. This occurs when sugary and starchy foods are eaten and carbohydrates, bacteria, and acids mix together. Over time, plaque can continue to develop into what is called “tartar.” This is a hardened version of plaque that is very hard to remove and requires the assistance of an oral healthcare professional to scrape off.

Some of the signs you can look out for to better determine if you have plaque include:

* Yellow teeth
* Swollen gums
* Bad breath
* Bleeding gums

What Happens If Plaque and Tartar Aren’t Treated?

While plaque may not seem like a big deal at first, it can become very troublesome without being treated for an extended period of time. Some oral health conditions plaque and tartar can lead to include:

* Cavities/tooth decay
* Tooth discoloration
* Tooth infection
* Gum recession
* Tooth loss
* Gum disease
* Sensitivity

While some of these conditions are reversible, others are not. For instance, gum disease in its early phase (gingivitis) is reversible. Periodontitis is not. Neither is, of course, tooth loss. It’s best to do everything you can to avoid plaque buildup in the first place rather than rely on a dentist to repair your teeth and gums once they have been damaged due to plaque and tartar buildup.

Avoiding Plaque Buildup

Plaque buildup can be relatively easy to avoid with proper oral care. This includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing out your mouth twice a day, every day. Keep in mind, you need to be thorough when you do so. Take your time with each quadrant of your mouth, and spend about 30 seconds brushing each. You also need to floss thoroughly (without flossing too hard).

To avoid plaque, you can also consider fluoride treatment and/or dental sealants. Sealants can help to prevent plaque from forming, while fluoride can help to fight against the bacteria that lead to plaque formation.

You also need to make sure you are scheduling an appointment with your dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. During this time your dentist can remove any plaque buildup that has occurred and diagnose any oral health conditions. They can then put a plan in place to treat those conditions and prevent further decay or infection.

Contact Us Today

By taking proper care of your oral health, you can greatly minimize the amount of plaque that builds up. With that in mind, you’ll want to contact us for a professional cleaning in order to ensure your mouth is fully cleaned and any plaque that has built up is removed.

Can I Scrape Plaque Off My Teeth