How Does Dental Plaque Affect Teeth?

Bacteria depend on moist, dark areas with plenty of sugar for sustenance. This is why they make the mouth their habitat. When they accumulate in the mouth, they create a sticky material called plaque on the teeth, and that can kickstart a series of dental health issues. Bacteria plaque is responsible for gum diseases and tooth decays, but the effects can be averted.

Bacterial plaque

According to the American Dental Association, when bacterial plaque continues to accumulate on the teeth, it starts using the foods and drinks you take to generate acid. The adhesive property of plaque keeps the acid stuck against the tooth’s surface, giving it a chance to break through the tooth’s enamel. According to the National Institute of health, the bulk of the acid is generated after meals, which means that every time you eat, your teeth are vulnerable to plaque accumulation within 20 minutes.

Tartar accumulation and gum disease

The acid released by bacterial plaques to damage the tooth enamel can also infect the gum tissues and bones around the teeth. If you fail to clean the plaque off the surface of teeth, it solidifies into tartar. Although bacterial plaque is responsible for gum disease, tartar accumulation provides a breeding ground for it.

Gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, causes the gums to redden, swell and bleed. This inflammation around the teeth is a result of the presence of plaque on the tooth and gum line. If the plaque and tartar beneath the gums are not cleaned out, the bacterial toxins will affect the bone and ligaments around the teeth, causing an advanced stage of gum disease, such as periodontitis.

Weak tooth enamel

Plaque makes it harder for the tooth enamel to withstand the bacterial acids in the mouth that cause tooth decay. The use of fluoride toothpaste can help fortify and shield your tooth enamel. You can also get fluoridation from sources such as dental washes, supplements, or fluoridated water.

Caring for the teeth

Here are a few care tips for good oral health.

Brushing and flossing

Failure to take adequate care of your dental health will make it hard to treat the gum disease or combat tooth decay. Plaque builds up if it is not cleaned out soon enough, so brush using a soft-bristle toothbrush at least twice daily. Pay special focus on the gum line, and replace your toothbrush once it wears out.

You must also floss at least once daily to remove food debris from the teeth.

Regular professional cleanings

Once the bacterial plaque hardens into tartar, it cannot be removed using a toothbrush. Professional deep cleaning performed by a dentist is necessary to eliminate the plaque and tartar on the teeth and underneath the gums before they cause tooth decay or gum disease. During your dental appointment, the doctor will diagnose and treat any decay or gum disease before it worsens into a severe condition.

In conclusion

Bacterial plaque is the primary cause of oral health issues. It is essential to know the methods of preventing them from wreaking havoc on your oral cavity.

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