Dental plaque is a normal part of life; everyone has it, but it can be prevented and controlled. Dental plaque is the sticky colorless or pale-yellow film that continuously adheres to the surface of your teeth. With a combination of bacteria, saliva, and food, dental plaque forms on the tooth surface daily.
The accumulation of bacterial plaque on your teeth is attributed to predominantly sugary foods such as milk, fruit, dairy, and pasta. Patients with dry mouths due to a medical condition or medications often notice a greater accumulation of dental plaque. To maintain optimum oral health, it’s imperative your teeth are routinely examined and cleaned by a dental care professional.
Oral Health Risks
Without a routine home and professional dental care, the plaque will mineralize and harden. When the plaque hardens, it becomes a yellow or brown deposit called tartar. Tartar is tough to remove and can only be safely and efficiently removed by a dental professional. Dental plaque can cause minor symptoms such as bleeding gums, chronic bad breath, and visible accumulation of plaque on the teeth.
Unless the plaque is removed, it will accumulate on the tooth’s surface both above and below the gum line. Dental plaque bacteria can produce acids that attack the tooth’s enamel and dentin, causing cavities. The constant accumulation of plaque can also cause gum disease, tooth decay, and even bone and tooth loss.
Heart Health Risks
Scientific studies have proven that there is a connection between dental health and heart health. According to the American Heart Association, brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day for two minutes can help minimize your cardiovascular risk. Your toothbrushing habits may be associated with an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, or even heart failure. Recent studies demonstrate those who do not brush and floss for the aforementioned amount of time have shown a threefold increased risk. This is specifically attributed to chronic inflammation of the gum tissue is a strong predictor for cardiovascular disease. Additionally, untreated and continual gum disease exacerbates high blood pressure and interferes with medications used to treat the condition.
Home Care for Plaque Control
There are so many wonderful dental products on the market to help you maintain your dental health and specific needs. An effective daily combination of tooth brushing and flossing is required to remove the accumulation of dental plaque. Our recommendation is a combination of an electric toothbrush, flossing, and an antibacterial mouth rinse. The specific home care products that we advise using can be discussed at your routine dental cleaning appointment in our Chesterfield, MO office.
How We Can Help
Our team of trained dental hygienists uses ultrasonic and manual instrumentation to remove accumulated tartar at or below your gumline. Once accomplished, your dentist and dental hygienists can recommend the appropriate dental products to assist you in maintaining your healthy smile.
We proudly serve the Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, Ellisville, and Ballwin communities. If you have any questions regarding your dental care, please call us at (636) 537-0065 to schedule an appointment. If you have any questions regarding your dental health, please call us at (636) 537-0065.