Posted on: November 9, 2018

There is no denying that plaque, which forms naturally on your teeth, can be one of your teeth’s worst enemies. Bacteria thrive in dark, moist environments, especially where they get ample amount of sugar for their nourishment — that is what unfortunately makes your mouth bacteria’s ideal home. Bacteria overstay in it and create a sticky film, otherwise known as plaque, on your teeth. This is where most of the dental problems develop.

Bacterial plaque causes various gum diseases that may lead to tooth decay. However, the good news is that they are all preventable. Read on to find out how plaque can harm your teeth, as well as how this can be prevented.

What is plaque?

It is a sticky film of bacteria that continuously accumulates on your teeth. The American Dental Association found that bacterial plaque uses food that people consume to produce harmful acids in the mouth. The stickiness of plaque keeps this acid on the teeth’s surface, which enables bacteria to break down the tooth's enamel.

Typically, this acid is produced after you eat or drink something, making your teeth susceptible to plaque buildup in less than twenty minutes.

Why is bacterial plaque harmful?

Plaque buildup causes gum disease

Bacterial plaque produces bacterial acids that can not only destroy your tooth enamel, but also trigger gum infections in the bones and tissues that surround your teeth. When it is not removed from your teeth or you do not practice good oral hygiene, the sticky buildup hardens into dental calculus, also known as tartar. Tartar causes many gum diseases such as gingivitis, gum inflammation, and periodontitis. It also provides bacteria a place to grow.

It weakens tooth enamel

As mentioned earlier, bacterial plaque weakens tooth enamel. Because of that, tooth enamel is less likely to survive attacks from bacterial acids. This condition may result in tooth decay. Making it worse, plaque develops in the roots of your teeth, particularly under the gum, and inhibits the bone supporting your tooth.

How can bacterial plaque be prevented?

Fortunately, there are several ways you can use to prevent bacterial plaque from developing, as well as from turning into tartar:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential to preventing bacterial plaque. Use a soft-bristled brush and be sure to gently clean the space where your teeth and gum meet
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing is also very important to clean the bacteria that are trapped between the teeth. Flossing helps you remove debris and plaque from hard-to-reach spaces that may harden into calculus
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash to rinse and reduce bacterial growth
  • Make sure you visit your oral hygienist or dentist once every six months for a professional cleaning and check-up
  • You may opt for dental sealants if it is appropriate for you. They are a thin plastic coating, painted on the tooth surface to prevent cavities

Bottom line

If left unattended to, bacterial plaque can seriously harm your teeth and cause a host of problems. If you have any further questions about plaque, talk to one of our dental health professionals today.

Request an appointment here https://www.thomasdentalcare.com or call telephone: (530) 486-1104 for an appointment in our Davis office if you want more information about bacterial plaque.


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