Dental plaque is a colorless, sticky biofilm that builds up on the teeth. It is made from saliva, liquids, and food particles, and it houses bacteria that can attack the teeth. Proper and regular removal of plaque is a necessity in order to keep your teeth clean and healthy, as there are many dangers associated with this substance.
Plaque and Oral Health Dangers
One of the biggest ways that the plaque can affect your body is via your oral health. Plaque constantly forms on the teeth as you drink and eat throughout the day. Unfortunately, it is so sticky that it keeps acids in contact with your enamel, and this can ultimately break down the enamel to cause tooth decay. Plaque accumulation can then lead to a host of oral health issues, including gum disease – gingivitis and periodontitis. With time, the gum tissue may pull away from your teeth, which allows bacteria to destroy the bone and may even result in tooth loss.
Plaque and Health Concerns
Dental plaque can also cause issues with your overall health. Researchers have identified connections between gum disease – a product of plaque buildup – and many health problems, such as dementia, diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Plaque buildup and subsequent gum disease has also been connected to premature birth – a real concern among pregnant women.
While the relationship between plaque and these health conditions isn’t well understood, dental researchers suspect that inflammation is the common denominator. Inflammation is a major characteristic of gum disease, and it is also an underlying problem in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.
Therefore, keeping plaque levels under control in the mouth could reduce the risk for these conditions. Besides brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque and tartar is to keep up with your regular dental cleanings. Call us today to set up your next appointment.