Everything You Need to Know About Plaque and How it Affects Your Teeth

Plaque formation is a normal part of our daily lives. It’s rather harmless as long as you brush and floss twice a day so that plaque buildup does not occur. On the other hand, poor oral hygiene often leads to a buildup of plaque that requires professional treatment/removal. Left unchecked, plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease that can have irreversible effects.

The good news is, maintaining proper oral health is super easy. A cleaning regimen only takes a few minutes of your day, and is the number one way to prevent periodontitis and other serious gum diseases. Cleanings and oral exams with your dentist at Fioritto Family Dental will ensure you keep plaque under control!

Plaque is bacteria, and it’s alive!

Plaque is that all-too-familiar colorless, sticky gunk on your teeth that makes your mouth feel fuzzy every morning. Your mouth is an ecosystem, which means plaque consists of microbes that have colonized along the gum line. When plaque is left alone, the colony grows and attracts more bacteria. That’s right—overnight (and throughout the day), there’s a bacteria farm hard at work in your mouth! The good news is, thorough brushing resets the clock on any damage.

Bacteria in plaque uses sugar from food and beverages to create acid that can erode tooth enamel. That’s why dentists recommend you cut back on food and beverages high in sugar. You’ll also benefit from limiting snacks in between meals. This will reduce plaque buildup and give bacteria less sugar to transform into acid.

When plaque becomes tartar

As mentioned, plaque collects on teeth and along the gum line when you sleep, eat and drink. Plaque is a constant presence, which is why everyone should brush twice a day. If left untreated, it can harden into tartar that’s difficult to remove with just floss and a toothbrush. While plaque is colorless, tartar is easy to spot because it forms a yellow substance along the gum line.

Plaque eats your teeth. Here are the signs of a buildup

Bacteria in plaque create acid that erodes tooth enamel and leads to cavities. Poor oral hygiene also causes gum disease like gingivitis. Be sure to call Fioritto Dental if your gums are red and swollen!

Another telltale sign of gingivitis is gums that bleed while flossing or using a toothbrush. These symptoms occur in the early stages of gum disease, which has the potential to develop into periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a severe gum disease that deteriorates the gum line and bones that support your teeth. The worst cases result in tooth loss. This type of gum disease is a progression of gingivitis, proving that smaller health issues need professional treatment before they cause permanent damage.

Brush, floss, rinse and schedule your way to a happier smile!

To prevent serious gum diseases like periodontitis, brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. It’s especially important to do so after eating sugary foods. Toothpastes containing fluoride or baking soda are proven to be most effective at removing plaque – and don’t forget to floss! A thorough cleaning doesn’t hurt, either.

When was the last time you had a professional cleaning? Get in touch with Fioritto Family Dental at our Mentor or Concord, OH office to schedule your cleaning and oral exam.  We recommend 2 professional cleanings per year. We’ll gently, but thoroughly remove hard-to-reach plaque and provide tips for good oral hygiene. If you notice the telltale signs of plaque buildup, we are here to help!

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