Plaque is a colourless, sticky film that normally forms on teeth. Whilst this is soft and difficult to see, it contains thousands of bacteria, increasing your risk of carries and gum disease. The plaque’s bacteria use the sugars from the food particles to create acid that can wear away the enamel. The sad part is, frequent acid attacks may break down the tooth’s layer, resulting in a hole or cavity.
Gentle Dental Care notes that detecting the presence of plaque is easier using a cotton swab and smearing food colouring on teeth. Plaque disclosing tablets can also do the trick. The colour left on teeth shows where the plaque is sticking. Examining the teeth regularly will help you get rid of this sticky film. Teeth cleaning Croydon centres also suggest seeing a dentist for efficient plaque removal.
Tartar and Gum Disease
Unremoved plaque will eventually harden and become tartar or calculus. This may lead to gum infection and gingivitis. Early warning signs include bad breath, sore gums, and blood when brushing or flossing. Fortunately, you can treat gingivitis with proper brushing and flossing. Rigorous brushing to remove tartar is not advisable. Seeing a dentist or dental hygienist is recommended.
Later Stage of Gum Disease
When left ignored and untreated, plaque can cause gum disease, which can result in periodontitis. At advanced stages, bacteria will accumulate on the gum line, with infection forming between the pockets surrounding the teeth. Bleeding and swollen gums are two common symptoms, followed by receding gums. Periodontitis will also cause teeth to become loose.
Plaque and Other Health Issues
Apart from causing gingivitis, plaque is also related to other health problems. Research suggests that both plaque and bacteria in the mouth are linked to diabetes, heart disease, dementia, as well as rheumatoid arthritis. Experts cannot fully explain the relation, although they believe that the bacteria can sometimes affect the organs.
Food particles from starchy and sugary treats offer fuel for the bacteria to thrive and multiply. This makes it even more important to brush and floss teeth at least an hour after a meal. It is also advisable to see a dentist for effective teeth cleaning and addressing other oral health problems.