Get Rid of Dental Plaque
Posted on 1/23/2023 by Bryan Neu
|Everyone has dental plaque. This sticky film forms on teeth when bacteria in the mouth mix with sugary or starchy foods. Tooth brushing and flossing get rid of plaque. If you don't remove plaque, it hardens into tartar. Plaque can lead to cavities, gingivitis (gum disease) and tooth loss. Regular dental checkups remove plaque and protect teeth. Everyone has dental plaque to some degree. If your teeth feel fuzzy when you run your tongue over them, that's plaque.
Causes of Plaque?
Although everyone gets plaque, you may develop more plaque than usual if you consume a lot of sugary or starchy drinks or food, have dry mouth due to medications like antidepressants, have a history of neck/head radiation, or smoke. Plaque forms when bacteria in your mouth mix with sugary or starchy foods, such as milk, juice, soft drinks, bread, pasta, and fruit. These bacteria release acids that break down carbohydrates in food and drinks. If you don't brush your teeth soon after eating or drinking, the combination of bacteria, acids, and carbohydrates can mix into a sticky, colorless film called plaque.
Symptoms and Complications of Plaque
A fuzzy feeling on the teeth is the top sign that you have plaque. Other indicators include chronic bad breath and red, tender, and swollen gums that bleed after brushing. If you don't brush and floss daily, plaque can harden into tartar. Only a dental professional can remove tartar. Plaque and tartar can lead to cavities, gum disease, severe gum infection, tooth loss and decay, and tooth infection.
Good teeth and gum care is key to reducing plaque. You should floss daily, brush your teeth twice a day, chew sugarless gum, choose healthy foods, see your dentist at least twice per year, and use mouthwash. Everyone has mouth bacteria that cause plaque. With proper oral hygiene, you can remove plaque and prevent serious dental problems. Because plaque can cause cavities, tartar, and gum disease, regular dental checkups are a must. If plaque and tooth decay go undetected and untreated, you could develop a painful gum infection or lose teeth.