Did you ever witness a yellow surface on your teeth making them look dirty and unbrushed? No matter how long you brush your teeth, that stain doesn’t wash away. It is what has been cooked by the bacteria in your mouth when they produce acid that sticks to your teeth.
Plaque is a common dental problem that many people can associate with today. However, it takes over a prolonged period of time for plaque to become tartar. Plaque can cause many long-term problems that could cause difficulty in day-to-day life.
However, there is a difference between plaque and tartar. Plaque is a biofilm that attaches itself to the teeth, letting the microbes, stay, and produce acid. When this biofilm doesn’t get removed regularly, it could extract minerals from saliva and build a yellow substance called tartar.
Tartar build-up can be on the front and back of your teeth and sometimes it can get removed with floss to some extent, however, you would require to visit a dentist to get it removed professionally.
What causes Plaque?
There are already existing microbes, bacteria, and organisms in your mouth that are thriving to sustain. This creates an ecosystem of organisms that is well-balanced. When we breathe, eat or drink something bacteria enter our mouth which is normal until we eat something sugary or acid-producing food or drink.
This acid can cause many problems such as tooth decay in the form of cavities or gingivitis. Tooth decay can even occur in the part of your gums underneath the teeth which you can’t see while it eats away the support of your teeth.
How is dental plaque diagnosed?
Plaque can be diagnosed by a dentist as they’ll look with the help of a small mirror to conduct an oral examination. Through which they can tell whether you have plaque or not. They can also look at the pale color of your teeth and tell the same.
What are the treatments available for plaque?
Plaque can be treated by brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. However, some dentists recommend electric toothbrushes for much better results.
Others have also recommended toothpaste with baking soda in it as it helps in cleansing and removing some of the plaque.
If the plaque has hardened into tartar, it will become much more difficult to remove on your own. It is advisable to go to a professional or a dentist and get it cleaned by them with their respective tools. Therefore, it is necessary to visit a dentist twice a year.
How to prevent dental plaque?
The basic step for the prevention of plaque is to brush your teeth twice a day and brush especially after eating sugary foods. It is advised to brush your teeth every day twice for two minutes.
You should also floss while brushing as the plaque can be formed in tightened spaces and needs to be removed from there. You can also use mouth rinse products as they can contribute to a significant reduction in plaque.
However, some mouth rinsers have side effects such as staining and tartar buildup which you can replace with a herbal one as it doesn’t have side effects.
The last thing that is a must-required preventive measure but is often overlooked by patients is visiting a dentist for regular dental check-ups twice a year, even when they don’t feel the need for it.
Plaque can cause many complications in the teeth in the long term. It could lead to tooth decay and tooth infection. Getting your teeth checked twice a year can be a great step forward in terms of the prevention of plaque and other oral problems.
Bansal Hospital Bhopal has a properly functioning and efficient dental care department that looks after your teeth with utmost care and provides apt diagnosis and treatment of the condition.
Frequently asked questions
What happens when you don’t remove plaque?
Plaque can lead to many other gum problems such as cavities, gingivitis, severe gum infection, tooth decay, and tooth infection. With this, it also causes bad breath and red, swollen gums.
Can plaque be removed at home?
Brushing your teeth daily can help in the removal of plaque, however, for hardened tartar or long build-up of plaque, it is advisable to visit your dentist for a better examination and cleaning of your teeth.
Do children get a plaque?
Yes, if children don’t brush their teeth properly twice a day for two minutes, they too can get plaque. It is advisable to visit your dentist if the plaque causes complications in children.