What is Plaque?

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a thick, sticky substance that builds up throughout different parts of the body, causing damage and preventing certain function from performing properly. While many people associate plaque with heart disease, there is another type of plaque that promotes a significant amount of issues. Oral plaque develops on the teeth on a daily basis, and if it is not removed regularly and taken seriously, it can not only wreak havoc on your oral health, but it can also lead to potentially life-threatening health issues. Dental plaque is directly linked to gum disease, and gum disease has been directly linked to kidney and heart disease. So pay attention, because your health depends on it.

Plaque and Acid Production

Every day there are millions of bacteria that thrive inside the warm, moist environment of your mouth. These bacteria live off of the tiny particles that are left behind after every meal, snack, and beverage other than water that you consume. As the bacteria find these tiny particles, they congregate in extremely large numbers and go to work breaking them down. While this seems helpful, it is actually extremely harmful. A chemical change occurs when the bacteria begin their work. They begin producing acids to help them in the endeavors. Acids, in all forms, are extremely corrosive and cause damage to whatever is in their path. The bacteria inside your mouth are most attracted to sugars in your foods and beverages, thus producing the most acids around these particles. While limiting your sugar intake is beneficial, it is not enough to combat the constant assault of the acid-producing bacteria inside your mouth.

How to Reduce Plaque

The chemical change of the bacteria producing acids causes plaque buildup to develop on the teeth. The sticky, white substance that you can feel on your teeth and scrape off at the end of the day is the direct result of bacteria and acids “working” inside your mouth. Removing plaque from the teeth on a daily basis is essential for protecting your teeth and oral health. Dental floss is the only tool that is specifically designed to slide underneath dental plaque and scrape it away from the teeth. Your toothbrush is not designed for this purpose, so that assumption that brushing twice a day is enough is false. If you are not flossing every day, then plaque is continually building up on your teeth at your gum line, leaving your oral health extremely compromised.

At Southern Charm Dental, we are here to encourage you to make your oral health a priority. One minute of your time each day flossing your teeth is enough to save your mouth, and your entire body, from significant health issues.