You probably felt the fuzzy film coating your teeth when you’ve forgotten to brush or gone too long in-between flossing. That yellowish sticky substance is plaque, one of the most common buildups of bacteria that forms in our mouths. Plaque forms when food particles combine with saliva in your mouth. The bacteria present in plaque uses the sugars that exist in the food we eat to create acids that can etch away at the enamel on our teeth. When you visit North Eugene Family Dental our staff of hygienists and Eugene dentists will make sure that your plaque is under control and will help clean your teeth so there is no buildup.
Carbs, Bacteria, and Acids
When carbohydrate rich food like dried fruit, candy, and dairy are left on the surfaces of our teeth, bacteria that exist in our mouths begin to flourish on those starches and sugars. A chemical reaction occurs that forms what we see and feel as plaque. This process also produces acids, which can devastate tooth enamel and result in cavities and decay. If left untreated, plaque can even be found in the roots of your teeth or your gums.
Prevention of Plaque
As you might guess, the easiest way to avoid a build up of plaque is brush your teeth twice a day. Flossing at least once a day is also recommended, as it can help remove those particles of food that bacteria can latch on to. It is also best to watch your diet and consume fewer carbohydrates. The less starchy and sugary breads, cookies, and sweets you eat, the less plaque will build up in your mouth. Healthy snacking is also a great way to keep plaque at a minimum. Food like cheeses, fresh fruits, and vegetables, which help up saliva production in your mouth, are a great way to keep to down. According to the American Dental Association, antibacterial mouth rinses can also be helpful in reducing bacteria that can cause be the source of plaque.
When plaque remains on your teeth for over a few days it can become very hard and be extremely challenging to get off of teeth surfaces. This hard material that then forms is known as tartar, and only a dental professional with eight tools can help you remove it, through a careful scraping of your teeth. Though you may have seen toothpastes advertising tartar control but those products really just help eliminate the plaque before it turns into tarter. Once plaque is on your teeth, but before it has become tartar, a thorough brushing can remove it. If left untreated, plaque and tartar can lead to inflammation of the gums and periodontis, or gum disease. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the accrual of plaque and tooth decay, and should be very careful to properly brush and floss when they are with child. In all, more that three -quarters of American adults have some sort of gum disease caused by plaque
If you have questions about plaque or tartar, the helpful staff at North Eugene Family Dental will be more then happy to answer them today!