It is a continuous war between the plaque in your mouth and you. Plaques constantly form in your mouth even after brushing your teeth. However, you can’t give up the fight to get rid of plaque because they are more hazardous than you think.
What is a plaque?
A plaque is a colourless, soft, sticky film or deposit on the surface of the teeth. It is made up of bacteria. If a plaque is not properly removed, it might build up to form a yellowish or creamy deposit on the tooth surface.
The best way to know what a plaque looks like is to scratch your tooth with your fingernail. The yellowish or creamy substance underneath your nail is a plaque. Disgusting right? If the plaque is left alone on the tooth surface by not properly brushing and flossing, it hardens, becoming no longer plaque but a Tartar (or Calculus), which becomes difficult to remove by brushing. These are reasons why dental plaque is your enemy:
It is the major culprit of gum diseases; gingivitis (inflammation of the gum) and periodontitis (inflammation of the supporting tissue of the tooth). It has the ability to produce toxins, which irritates the gum causing it to bleed, hurt, swell or even get infected.
It has the ability to break down any food that contains sugar into acid. This acid in turn attacks the tooth. Repeated acid attack breaks down the tooth surface forming a cavity. This is how tooth cavity or decay known as dental caries is formed.
Due to its pigmentation after left alone for a while, can cause tooth discolouration.
It can cause mouth odour.
The bacteria that makes up plaque might dislodge and travel through the blood vessel into the heart and cause heart problems.
Its ability to cause gum diseases can cause or complicate other health problems such as diabetes, infertility, erectile dysfunction, dementia and respiratory problems.
How to prevent the formation of plaques
The easiest way to combat plaque is by proper brushing for two minutes twice a day (morning and before bedtime) and flossing at least once a day.
Other methods of preventing plaques from accumulating in your mouth in addition to tooth brushing and flossing are:
- The use of mouth wash.
- Eating balanced diet.
- Regular visit to the dentist (every 6 months).