Dental plaque is a soft and sticky film that can develop on the surface of a person’s teeth. This film contains thousands of different bacteria, which is why it’s essential that you manage it properly to avoid the buildup of it. In the event that plaque builds up on your teeth, it can eventually cause tooth decay and even gum disease, although these issues can be properly mitigated by flossing and brushing. When plaque has built up on a person’s teeth, the bacteria within the plaque combines with the sugars in the food you consume to produce acids that eat away at the protective enamel on your teeth. If this continues to occur, the enamel may dissipate entirely and lead to the development of a hole in your tooth or a cavity.
Effects of Plaque Buildup
Plaque is unique in that it can develop into tartar if not removed on a daily basis, which is a harder substance that’s more difficult to remove unless you obtain a cleaning by a professional dentist. Tartar starts at the gum line, which is one of the reasons as to why it’s more difficult to clean. If the tartar also continues to increase, additional issues will begin to display themselves with your gum tissue, such as swelling and bleeding when brushing your teeth.
An additional effect caused by the buildup of plaque is periodontal disease of the gum, which itself can eventually lead to loose teeth or your teeth falling out if left untreated. Plaque buildup invariably weakens the tooth and can cause the tooth to become infected or abscessed, and both of these issues require additional treatment. If you properly manage plaque, you can avoid these problems, which is why maintaining good oral health is so important.
If a tooth eventually needs to be removed due to complications caused by plaque, dental implants via oral surgery may be required in the event that the tooth is removed. If the issue progresses to this point, make sure that the oral surgeon you choose is a reputable one. Even though the placement of a dental implant is a form of surgery, it is also classified as a cosmetic procedure that has very few risks associated with it.
How to Properly Manage Plaque
Since plaque is without color, it’s very difficult to notice, which is why you should just assume that it’s on your teeth. Once the plaque has started to grow on the tooth, you may be able to see it, as this buildup appears as a thick white substance. Plaque is a constant problem, so it’s important that you brush and floss at least twice every day.
Consider using toothpaste that lists fluoride as an ingredient, and make sure that you visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning. Since the bacteria in plaque uses the sugar in foods to create acid that wears down the enamel on your teeth, you might also want to consider limiting sugar in your diet. By properly managing your plaque levels, you may be able to avoid oral surgery or dental implants in the event that any teeth would need to be removed.
If ever you require some form of oral surgery or a cosmetic procedure, our oral surgeons here at Good Samaritan Dental Implant Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, can provide you with high-quality dental implants that will have your smile looking beautiful once more.