Plaque is a hot topic because it can seriously damage your teeth and gums if left untreated. Not everyone knows that plaque and tartar are the main causes of cavities and gum disease. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to teach you about plaque and what you can do to prevent it from damaging your teeth and gums.
What Is Plaque?
Plaque is a sticky biofilm that builds up on your teeth. It’s easy to feel by rubbing your tongue across your teeth, but it’s not always easy to spot.
How Does It Form?
When the food you eat combines with the saliva in your mouth, it produces bacteria deposits on your teeth. If the bacteria is not brushed away quickly, it can further accumulate and mineralize into tartar.
Why Is Plaque Bad for Your Teeth?
The bacteria will continue to use the foods and drinks you consume to produces acids. These acids can start to attack your tooth enamel and damage your gums. If left untreated, the plaque turns into tartar which bonds to your enamel. This tartar can quickly build up along your gum line and on the front and back of teeth where it’s hard to spot. If it’s left at the gumline and underneath the gum, the toxins will start to attack the bone and ligaments leading to gum disease and periodontal disease.
What Can You Do?
Eat less sugar and floss after meals. Brushing your teeth twice a day can help get rid of the food particles, but flossing gets in between the gum line to remove any plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. Cutting out refined sugars from your diet can also reduce the bacteria’s ability to produce acids that lead to decay and gum disease. It’s also incredibly important to visit your dentist for your regular checkups. They’ll remove any newly formed plaque and tough-to-remove tartar buildup that has accumulated since your last visit. And if they find any early signs of gum disease, they’ll treat that as well.
Gum disease and periodontal disease are easily avoidable. If you haven’t seen your dentist in more than 6 months and have noticeable signs of tartar or have strayed from your regular dental routine, come see us at the Teal Umbrella. We’ll help you get back on track with a cleaner, healthier smile.