What Is Dental Plaque And The Harm It Can Do?

dental plaque

If you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while or just had something to eat, run your tongue across your teeth. If it feels like there is a film over your them, this is plaque. But what actually is it? And is it harmful? Let’s get into the nitty gritty about plaque and why it’s important to visit your dentist to get it removed.

So first of all, what is plaque? 

Plaque itself is a sticky film which forms on your teeth within four to 12 hours after brushing your teeth. This is the outcome of bacteria which has overstayed its welcome in your mouth, creating a sticky build-up of bacterial plaque on your teeth. This build-up feeds on carbs and sugars which when they metabolise, create acid which damage your enamel. However, The development of plaque is normal and expected. But when there is a build-up of plaque which mineralises on your teeth, this is where issues can occur.

What is Tartar? 

When plaque isn’t regularly removed, the residual plaque which remains on your teeth hardens into tartar on the front and back of your teeth as well as your gum line. The tartar deposit stains teeth and leads to yellow or brown discolouration. When plaque is not cleaned, it reacts with the minerals in your saliva leaving you with a yellow deposit on your teeth. Typically, as you age, you are more susceptible to having tartar form on your teeth.

How does plaque form?

Plaque is the outcome of bacteria and other organisms which enter into your mouth when you eat, drink and even breathe. The acid which is excreted by the bacteria wears away at tooth enamel and is what leads to tooth decay, bad breath, and cavities. This is why it’s so important to regularly clean and floss your teeth because without regular removal, this builds-up over time.

Does it cause any harm?

Plaque is the root of many tooth issues and can cause tooth decay and cavities as a result of acids. When you don’t regularly brush your teeth or neglect flossing, plaque builds-up. This can lead to more intense diseases of the gums, such as gingivitis as it leads to unnecessary inflammation in the body.

plaque dental

How can I prevent and remove plaque?

By maintaining good oral hygiene means that you are preventing the potential of plaque build-up. If you regularly brush your teeth twice a day, and brush after eating sugary foods is an effective way to remove plaque. The sooner you remove the plaque, the better. It is also very important to floss your teeth daily as plaque can also build-up in between your teeth and for many toothbrushes, they can’t reach this area. Flossing your teeth before bed means you will have fewer bacteria when sleeping.

However, going to the dentist on a regular basis is also required. At our dental clinic, the cleaning is much more thorough and reaches areas of your mouth that tooth brushes do not adequately clean.

If you are in need of your regular teeth cleaning, contact Dentaservice on (03) 9401 2120.