Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless or yellowish film that forms on your teeth. It develops along the gum line from a combination of saliva, food and fluids that contain bacteria.
Dental plaque starts building up on your teeth 4 to 12 hours after brushing. Another good reason to brush thoroughly at least twice a day and floss daily.
How Plaque Affects your Teeth
Though plaque is mostly colorless, it can produce acid, which in turn affects your oral health. Over time, if the plaque is not removed it will harden into tartar or dental calculus. The tartar becomes strongly bonded to the tooth’s enamel and only a dental professional can remove it.
Conditions Related to Plaque and Tartar
- Cavities – the acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can cause low pH level and can eat away at tooth enamel.
- Gingivitis – accumulation of plaque bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums.
- Bad Breath – plaque buildup from poor dental hygiene can also cause bad breath.
Who may be more likely to get plaque?
Although everyone has dental plaque, you may be more susceptible if you:
- Consume a lot of sugary or starchy foods or drinks
- Have dry mouth due to medications
- Have a history of head/neck radiation
How to Combat Plaque
Staying on top of your oral health and preventing plaque buildup on teeth is the best way to prevent tartar. The American Dental Association recommends to Brush and floss every day. Visit your dentist every 6 months. Adults who see their dentists regularly are less likely to have plaque related dental diseases.
If you need some additional information on dental plaque, don’t hesitate to call the office of Dr. Abeyta in Albuquerque, NM at (505) 293-7611. They practice an integrative approach in creating a beautiful smile and healthy functioning body. Did you know that your smile can tell how healthy you are? Healthy teeth and jaws translate to a pretty smile, healthy breathing, and a healthy body. Whatever life brings, they’d love to be your partner in oral health!