Do you often feel an uncomfortable, sticky substance when you run your tongue across your teeth’ surface? Do you know what the substance is or why it forms? The uncomfortable feeling you experience when you feel the sticky film should be enough to encourage you to adopt better dental hygiene habits.
Plaque is one of the most common dental health problems that can lead to a wide range of oral health conditions. It is quite dangerous to your teeth. Hence, you need to learn how to prevent the buildup of plaque.
The first thing you need to understand is that everyone in the world has a dental plaque to some degree. It forms when bacteria in your mouth mix with starchy or sugary foods. Brushing and flossing your teeth will get rid of plaque before it hardens into tartar and other oral conditions such as gum disease, cavities, or tooth loss.
According to dental health experts, plaque is a biofilm. It is a collection of living microorganisms surrounded by a sticky polymer layer. The gluey coating helps microorganisms attach to surfaces of the mouth. This allows them to grow into thriving colonies of microbes.
Essentially, bacteria in dental plaque produce acids when you drink or eat. These acids are quite potent because they can destroy your tooth enamel and cause cavities and gum disease. Dental plaque can also develop under your gums, leading to the breakdown of the bones that support your teeth.
Left untreated, dental plaque can harden and develop into tartar, which is very difficult to remove. If you feel a fuzzy feeling when you run your tongue over your teeth, that is dental plaque.
Bacteria need dark, moist areas with lots of sugar for nourishment. This is why the mouth is a great habitat for bacteria. When you let bacteria accumulate in your mouth, they will create a gluey substance on your teeth. This can trigger various dental health problems. These include:
The acids released by dental plaque can damage tooth enamel. It can also damage the bones and gum tissue around your teeth. If you fail to deal with the condition, the plaque on your teeth will solidify into tartar, which provides the perfect breeding ground for gum disease.
The earliest stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis, cause gums to bleed, swell and redden. The inflammation around the teeth stems from the presence of dental plaque on the gumline and teeth. Left unaddressed, these toxins can affect the ligaments and bone around your teeth, leading to periodontitis. This is an advanced stage of gum disease.
Dental plaque often makes it harder for your tooth enamel to resist bacterial acids in your mouth. These acids can lead to tooth decay. Fortunately, fluoride toothpaste can help shield and strengthen your tooth enamel.
According to scientists, there are links between dental plaque buildup and other health problems, such as:
To learn more about the dangers of dental plaque buildup, contact Cossich Family Dentistry at our office in Covington, Louisiana. You can call 985-400-2730 today to schedule an appointment.