What Is Dental Plaque?

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You may have heard about products that help get rid of plaque. However, you may wonder, what is dental plaque? Dental plaque is bacteria that forms on your teeth. It is a sticky film that needs to be removed through good oral hygiene practices so it doesn’t cause more harmful dental issues. Below you will find more information regarding plaque and how you can keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Issues Caused by Plaque

Plaque is highly common as everyone has some degree of plaque in their mouth. If you run your tongue over your teeth and feel a fuzzy film, it’s most likely plaque. The problem with plaque is the bacteria inside of it can produce harmful acids after you eat or drink. The acids produced by the plaque are harmful and can lead to tooth decay.

What Is Dental Plaque?

If left untreated, dental plaque can cause gum disease. This is because the plaque can develop under your gums. It can even impact the root of your teeth, which can require extensive dental treatment. Plaque that goes untreated for long periods can turn into tartar. Tartar is essentially hardened plaque that is very difficult to remove without the help of a dental professional.

Causes of Plaque

Despite plaque being common, some things place you at a higher risk for plaque. Below are some of the common risk factors for excess plaque.

  • Dry Mouth: For those who have dry mouth, whether naturally or due to a medical condition, it can cause excess plaque. Be sure to stay hydrated and talk with your dentist about ways to keep your mouth healthy.
  • Smokers: Similar to dry mouth, smoking can cause dry mouth and increase the level of harmful bacteria present in your mouth. If you cannot quit smoking, try and reduce how much you do smoke. It’s also advisable to visit the dentist regularly, stay hydrated, and have an consistent oral hygiene routine.
  • Snackers: For those who like to consume sugary drinks, candy, pastries, and other processed foods with lots of sugar, it can cause excess plaque. Try and focus on healthy foods, even when snacking, and be sure and stay consistent with your oral hygiene routine.

Treatment for Plaque

For those who are concerned about the level of plaque in their mouth, consider a professional teeth cleaning. A professional teeth cleaning involves a physical examination of your teeth, scaling, gritty toothpaste cleaning, flossing and rinsing, and fluoride treatment. Depending on the health of your teeth, you may also need other treatments to fight against tooth decay.

A professional dental cleaning involves scaling, which helps remove the buildup of plaque and tartar. This is the only treatment that can successfully remove plaque that has turned into tartar. In addition to a professional dental cleaning every six months, it’s important to focus on your daily oral care routine. Maintaining a consistent and healthy routine can help fight against plaque and tooth decay.

This requires brushing at least twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should also use toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride to protect your enamel. Flossing at least once a day is necessary, and if you only floss once, do it at night. This can help remove any leftover debris built up throughout the day. Talk with your dentist about what is right for you as they are more familiar with your oral health.

Encino Family Dental

Dr. Marian Yassa at Encino Family Dental has worked with patients on their dental health for years. She is focused on providing a safe, clean, and welcoming environment to ensure you feel comfortable. Dr. Yassa and her team at Encino Family Dental are eager to help you build a healthy oral care routine to ensure that your teeth and gums are in top shape. Contact Encino Family Dental today for an appointment!

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