What is plaque?

Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on your teeth that contains cavity causing bacteria. These begin to form on your teeth surfaces when you are not able to brush for a long period of time after eating. Whenever you eat, there are bacteria in the plaque feed on the sugar in your food, and this increases the production of acid in your mouth. When this happens, acid attacks destroy your tooth enamel and it makes it weaker and susceptible to decay. The breakdown of your tooth enamel is the primary reason why you get decay and cavities, which explains why most dentists would advise for you to stay away from foods that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates.

When you are out for the day for work or school, brushing may not be possible all the time but what you have to make sure of is that you are able to brush your teeth at least twice a day. If brushing and flossing are not regularly or not done on a daily basis, it will give way to the formation of plaque. When plaque has already formed on your teeth and are not removed by brushing and flossing, it can lead to the formation of tartar which can collect in the surfaces of your teeth, in the spaces in between as well as in your gum line. When this happens, the bacteria in the tartar will continue to proliferate and cause infections and gum diseases. When you start getting gum problems, they can progress to a more advanced stage if left untreated. The worst or the most advanced stage of a gum disease is called periodontitis. Periodontitis is the infection that affects your gums and the other tissues that surround and support your teeth. Having this condition can result in the receding or the pulling away of your gums from your teeth, or the so-called gum recession. Gum recession is an indication that the infection has already reached and destroyed the supporting structures of your teeth, and thereby causing early tooth loss.

What are the indications of a plaque?

Anyone can develop plaque because of the continuous spread and growth of the bacteria in your mouth and that is hard to avoid. Plaque is hardly visible which is why you have to pay close attention to it before they spread into your gum line and irritate the gums surrounding your teeth. Plaque needs to be removed as soon as possible before it hardens into a tartar. Once a tartar forms on your teeth, it will be visible along your gum line especially when you see a brown or yellowish deposit on your teeth surface or below your gum line.

How do fight plaque?

If plaque has formed heavily on your teeth, it would be a lot easier to spot because it will look like a yellowish or brownish deposit that sticks to your teeth. If you want to know if you have plaque on your teeth, you can purchase a disclosing tablet from a nearest drugstore or you can also use some drops of coloring dissolved in water to rinse your mouth with. These methods will cause a temporary stain on your teeth so that it becomes easier for you to see the plaque. After spotting the plaque, you can brush or floss your teeth afterwards to remove the stains.

Plaque formation constantly happens and what you need to do is to make sure this is controlled and plaque is removed right away before it even causes decay and cavities. In order to get rid of plaque, you can follow these steps.

  • Brush your teeth everyday and do it twice a day. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to get rid of the plaque from your teeth surfaces.
  • Do not forget to floss at least once a day. The time of the day will not matter so long as you floss, this will ensure that you are able to clean even the smallest spaces between your teeth.
  • Follow proper brushing and flossing techniques for thorough cleaning.

For more information on how to effectively combat plaque buildup, you can call Downtown Atlanta Dentistry at (866) 574-9280 or visit us at International Tower, Suite 206 229 Peachtree St., NE Atlanta, GA 30303-1600.