Have you ever run your tongue over teeth, only to cringe as it came in contact with some sticky, uncomfortable gunk? That gunk is plaque, and as you may know, it’s the everyday target of your teeth brushing and flossing routine. However, removing plaque from your teeth is about much more than just comfort; when left unattended, the biofilm is responsible for the development of destructive dental conditions like tooth decay and gum disease. Maintaining a good dental hygiene routine at home and at your Southlake dentist’s office entails controlling the buildup of bacterial plaque and its calcified form, tartar.
Beware of Invading Bacteria
Technically, plaque isn’t an invasion, since the bacteria that form it already inhabit your mouth. Nevertheless, bacterial plaque is harmful to your teeth and gums, and maintaining a healthy smile depends on controlling its presence. By brushing and flossing your teeth least twice a day, every day, you can eliminate plaque before it gains a strong hold on your oral tissues. Attending a dental checkup and cleaning at least every six months can allow Dr. Wright to remove plaque that you may have missed during your daily routine. After 48 hours, plaque calcifies (hardens) into tartar—an insoluble substance that can’t be removed with water and a toothbrush. Neglecting your regular dental checkups and cleanings can allow the germs hidden in plaque to actively harm your teeth and gums.
The True Nature of Dental Plaque
So why is controlling dental plaque so essential? Other than grossing people out, the sticky annoyance oral bacteria to cling to your teeth and gums, safe from your mouth’s natural defenses, like saliva. Not all of the over-600 different kinds of bacteria in your mouth are harmful, but a few of them behave in manners specifically detrimental to healthy teeth and gum tissue. For instance, some microbes convert sugars and other carbs from your meals into acid, which eats away at tooth enamel in preparation for tooth decay. Others can irritate your gum tissue, leading to gum recession and inflammation—the telltale signs of gum disease’s beginning stage, gingivitis. Though tooth decay and gum disease can prove extensively damaging as they progress, their beginning stages are difficult detect without professional attention.
About Gregory Wright, DDS:
As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.