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Plaque: consequences and prevention

The Plaque consists of a sticky and colorless film made of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth and also along the gum line. This mass of bacteria that grows in the mouth is considered to be the main cause of oral health problems as gum disease and cavities.

The plaque is continually forming in the mouth, so it is necessary to remove every day from the teeth and gums this film of bacteria with the help of the toothbrush and floss. When the hygiene habits are poorly the plaque keeps accumulating until it gets calcified or hardened and becomes into tartar.

 

How Does Plaque affect Oral Health?

The apparition of cavities and gum disease are the main consequences of the accumulation of plaque.

The cavities are caused when the bacteria that forms the plaque, use the sugar from the food consumed and take it to produce acids that attack and eat the tooth enamel until a hole or cavity is formed on the tooth surface.

The other consequence of plaque consists in the gum disease, which happens when the film of bacteria is not removed daily and keeps increasing until it gets hardened and turns into tartar. This excessive accumulation of bacteria, plaque and also tartar causes swelled, redness and bleeding of the gums, the symptoms of a complication known as gum disease.

The gum disease is formed by three different stages, gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Swollen and red gums are the first signs that indicate gingivitis, but when the problem is not treated at the right time it can become into advanced periodontitis and lead to severe damages to the oral health as the tooth loss.

 

Preventing the damage caused by plaque

Independently of the hygiene habits, the plaque is developed by everyone and is constantly forming on the surfaces of the mouth. Therefore, a good oral hygiene or flossing and brushing your teeth every day will not stop the apparition of plaque. But, even though there is no way to stop the formation of bacteria that create the plaque, the damage that is caused by it can be easily prevented by just keeping good hygiene and using the toothbrush and floss to help remove bacteria every day.

  • Brush your teeth every day and after every meal.
  • Make sure to use a good toothpaste that contains fluoride to remove plaque easily and prevent the apparition of tooth decay.
  • Use the floss or any other interdental cleaner of your preference to remove the plaque that remains between the teeth and that the toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Avoid the consumption of foods or snacks that contain large amounts of sugar. Keep a more balanced diet and make sure to clean your teeth immediately after eating sugared food to avoid its prolonged contact with teeth. Remember that the acids which cause the cavities are produced by the sugar took from the bacteria from the food.
  • It is important to visit your dentist at least once a year for a corresponding check or dental cleaning.

Are you already following these steps?

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