Why Plaque Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Although the importance of regular dental checkups is well-known, most people let their responsibilities get in the way of visiting the dentist. You probably also know that you should make a dental visit at least once every six months. Unfortunately, the majority of people only make an appointment when they are already in pain. If you want to keep your teeth healthy, there are some signs you can’t ignore.

Plaque Buildup

No matter how much time you put into cleaning and brushing every day, millions of bacteria remain in your mouth at any time. Some of it keeps your teeth healthy, while others can cause dental diseases.

For example, plaque, the sticky yellow or transparent film that is continually forming on your teeth, is made up of harmful bacteria. It forms up to twelve hours after brushing on your teeth, which is why you need to brush at least twice a day. The bacteria in plaque create an acidic waste that attacks your tooth and can cause cavities.

If you don’t remove plaque regularly, it will mineralize into a yellow or even brown film called tartar. This is something you cannot clean yourself, so you have to schedule an appointment with a dentist immediately when you see tartar along your gum line.

Tartar can make your teeth yellowish, which can cause self-esteem issues. To make your teeth look healthy again, consider a whitening procedure. When not removed with cleaning, plaque can overgrow and cause enamel erosion and tooth decay. It can also irritate the gums and cause gum disease, characterized by sore or bleeding gums.

Dental plaque and tartar consist of living bacteria that cause periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. If you want to keep all your teeth for the rest of your life, you need to know the basics of periodontal disease, the symptoms, and how it develops.

How Periodontal Disease Can Develop

When you eat carbohydrates, the sugars that are naturally found in carbs mix with the saliva and bacteria in your mouth. This combination creates plaque, which then sticks to your teeth.

The bacteria in plaque create acids and metabolize sugar. These acids can quickly erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities because the plaque causes the acids to stick to your teeth.

Removing this plaque by regular cleaning at home can prevent future problems. But if plaque stays on your teeth for too long, it builds up and becomes tartar. When plaque and tartar accumulate, bacteria can continue to grow and quickly cause a gum infection, which is when you’re at risk of developing gingivitis.

This is the start of periodontal disease. Without urgent treatment, plaque spreads further below the gum line. Now the acids and toxins will cause chronic gum inflammation, and a more severe form of gum disease develops called periodontitis.

With periodontitis progressing, your gums get damaged, allowing the infection to get even deeper. This inflammation can then, over time, erode the bones that support your teeth.