What exactly is Plaque?
Plaque is a harmful coating that is constantly produced in the mouth, creating an ideal environment for bacteria growth. (Saliva maintains the pH range and provides nutrients to bacteria.) It is particularly resistant to antibacterial agents and thus difficult to remove due to its diverse composition and microbe interaction.
Although plaque cannot be seen, its sticky presence can be felt by running your tongue along your teeth. If not handled properly, it can lead to serious oral health problems.
What Causes It to Form?
- Your diet has a significant impact on the bacteria in your mouth.
- The acid excreted by bacteria after they consume sugars is their waste product and the stuff that leads to bad breath, tooth decay, enamel destruction, and cavities. Many of us are aware of these and other serious oral health consequences of plaque accumulation.
- The simplest way to address this buildup is to remove plaque daily, while it is still soft. Otherwise, it hardens quickly as it absorbs calcium and other minerals from saliva and food.
- This calcification – or calculus – process, which can also cause bleeding gums and gingivitis, usually begins within 48 hours.
- We know that plaque buildup in the mouth can have negative effects not only on the mouth but also on the rest of the body.
- Researchers have long linked gum disease to health issues like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature births. A recent clinical study discovered that periodontal disease, or the loss of normal tooth supporting tissues, is an immune response to certain bacteria in dental plaque.
- Periodontitis, as a chronic inflammatory disease, involves the immune system, and this research can help us understand why some people are more susceptible to plaque buildup than others.
REMOVE IT FROM THE TEETH
- Brushing and flossing on a daily basis are essential habits for preventing plaque buildup. Not only is it critical to brush and floss effectively, but the quality of the products used is also critical to your oral health success.
- Tooth brushing is the first and most important method for removing plaque from teeth, and it is a must-do activity in any daily oral wellness routine.
- Of course, the quality of your toothbrush is important, as some toothbrushes are more or less effective than others. Unlike most toothbrushes, which use friction to force plaque off the teeth, an electric toothbrush removes up to 48% more plaque than a manual toothbrush.
- Without this level of efficiency, one risks causing harm by brushing too hard to compensate while attempting to remove plaque.
- Overbrushing can be harmful and cause gum damage.
- Brushing, on the other hand, only covers about two-thirds of the surface area of the teeth. An interdental tool, such as floss, must be used to disrupt plaque and debris buildup in between teeth – the remaining one-third of tooth surface area.
- Flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque, possibly because cavities form on the surfaces between teeth. Flossing can help remove food and debris that may become stuck between teeth.
- Aside from personal daily oral hygiene, it is critical to schedule regular dental cleanings. Cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as below the gum line, will help to prevent plaque buildup over time.
REMOVE IT FROM YOUR TONGUE
- The tongue harbours bacteria that build up in the mouth at night and throughout the day, similar to how dirt and debris build up on a rug.
- Bacteria, or soft plaque, will continue to multiply and build up on the tongue if left unattended, producing a foul odour.
- Cleaning the tongue not only helps to eliminate bad breath, but it also significantly reduces plaque formation on the teeth.
Oral health is important for overall health, according to health professionals, which is why it is important not to skip regular dental cleanings or be lax with your daily oral health routine.