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When Does Plaque Become Dangerous?

When Does Plaque Become Dangerous?

Scraping plaque off teeth

Plaque can form naturally around our teeth at any time, and there are some key reasons for this. One of the key reasons is your oral routine. If your oral routine isn’t strong enough when looking after your teeth, plaque can become a timely reminder to you.

You can identify if plaque has formed on your teeth yourself by rolling your tongue over your teeth. If your teeth feel smooth, there’s no plaque. If your teeth begin to feel rough, it’s likely that plaque has formed. The initial stages of plaque-forming are not recognizable in the mirror. Eventually, if you’re not brushing your teeth, the plaque build-up will increase and harden itself into tartar. When this happens, you’re likely to experience bad breath, harmful bacteria build up and the first stage of tooth decay.

Don’t worry, you’re far away from tooth decay at this stage, but plaque is initially a minor issue that can be resolved by improving your oral routine, such as brushing and flossing, tongue scraping and rinsing your mouth regularly after eating. When plaque hardens to become tartar, brushing and flossing will not remove it, and it’ll require a scale and polish at your check-up appointment with the dentist.

Removing plaque at a dental check-up

Can Plaque Become Dangerous?

Patients who have experienced plaque build-up have questioned whether plaque can become dangerous if it continues to penetrate around your teeth. There is a reason why your oral routine needs to be strong to reduce plaque build-up. As mentioned earlier, the longer plaque remains on your teeth, the higher the build-up that eventually forms into tartar. Tartar forms beneath the gum line, causing gum irritation and inflammation. Your gums will be in danger of receding and exposing the root of your teeth. This is known as gingivitis, the first of several stages of gum disease.

Adding to this, if your gums recede, the bacteria will have a field day through your gums and, eventually, will penetrate inside your bloodstream and weaken your immune system.

Bacteria and plaque combine to feed off sugars to cause an acid attack on your teeth. This causes enamel erosion. Enamel erosion occurs when the underlying dentin is exposed, making the appearance of your teeth become yellow. Eventually, your teeth are exposed to cracks and chips when you chew and bite down on foods. You may also experience painful sensitivity when this happens.

Plaque is formed from the foods you eat and a poor oral routine. If you let plaque and bacteria convert glucose (sugars) into acids, this can become dangerous not just to your smile, but overall oral health. Your mouth is a vital organ in protecting your other organs as well. Therefore, be mindful that keeping your teeth and mouth clean is essential.

Lady Brushing Teeth

How Can You Reduce Plaque Build-Up?

Simply improve your oral routine. Keeping your teeth and mouth clean every single day will keep plaque at bay. Brush your teeth twice a day, especially after a heavy meal to remove food debris.

You may also consider flossing your teeth at any time during the day if food debris becomes stuck, and rinse your mouth once finished.

Regularly visiting the dentist for a check-up is very important as well. Whilst getting a second professional opinion about your oral health, you’ll also receive a scale and polish treatment to clean your teeth plus the dentist will also scrape plaque off.

Finally, the foods you eat are essential for a happy and healthy mouth. Reduce sugar intake from sodas, wine and starchy foods. Eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables as they contain two essential food properties that keep your teeth strong; calcium and phosphate. Other foods that you should eat include milk, yoghurt, cheese, fish, leafy green vegetables and soya.

If you need oral health advice, contact our helpful dentists at Wollongong today. Dental care is worth smiling about, and we’re motivated to deliver healthy and happy smiles. If this is what you’re looking for, contact us now and book an appointment with us.

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