Dental plaque is the sticky, hard substance that builds up on your teeth when sugary or starchy foods mix with the bacteria in your mouth.
Brushing and flossing twice a day can help remove the food substances and bacteria in your mouth to prevent plaque buildup. However, almost everyone will end up with plaque and dental plaque removal tends to require professional dental treatment.
If everyone has dental plaque, why should you be worried about it?
Read on to learn more about the possible dangers of dental plaque and why you should have it removed from your teeth.
In this article
Dental Plaque Destroys Enamel
The first thing dental plaque will do is destroy the enamel on your teeth. Enamel acts as a protective coating that keeps bacteria and other substances away from your more porous tooth.
When your enamel wears down, you become more subject to bacteria buildup, cavities, and staining.
Dental Plaque Affects the Roots of Your Teeth
One of the more serious dental plaque symptoms is tooth pain or sensitivity. This may indicate that the plaque on your teeth has started to push past your gum line and attach to the roots of your teeth.
In the early stages, sensitivity is likely all that you’ll notice. If you examine your gum line, you may also notice that your gums are receding, exposing more of your tooth. When left untreated, dental plaque can begin to weaken or rot the roots of your teeth, leading to decay and tooth loss.
Extreme Dental Plaque and Health Risks
Once plaque has started to affect your gums, it is quite likely that you’ve developed periodontal or gum disease. Minor gum disease isn’t uncommon and is easily treatable. However, severe gum disease can cause larger issues and has been linked to certain health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Managing dental plaque is a great step you can take to protect your overall health. This is especially important if any of these diseases run in your family.
How to Remove Dental Plaque
As we mentioned earlier, establishing a good dental hygiene routine is key to protecting your teeth from dental plaque. Brushing and flossing will help remove any buildup from the past several hours that has accumulated on your teeth.
However, once that bacteria hardens into plaque, a regular toothbrush and flossing routine isn’t enough. This is why it’s important to visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning. Dental cleanings include teeth scaling, the process by which the plaque is scraped away from your teeth and gum line.
Take Care of Your Dental Health
Many of us take our dental health for granted. Even if we have a good dental hygiene routine, we may not recognize the importance of getting regular dental cleanings. Talk to your dentist about dental plaque and make sure that your teeth are in good shape.
Looking for more ways to boost your health? Take a look at our health section for tips, helpful information, and guides to seeking medical help.