What is Dental Plaque
Plaque is a sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that is constantly forming on the tooth surface. Saliva, food and fluids combine to produce these deposits that collect where the teeth and gums meet. Plaque buildup is the primary factor in periodontal (gum) disease, including gingivitis.
What Does Dental Plaque Buildup Lead To?
The bacteria in plaque release acids that attack the enamel surfaces of teeth. Repeated acid attacks increasingly erode the enamel, eventually causing tooth decay and cavities.
When plaque accumulates beneath the gum line, the buildup of bacteria and tartar can cause irritation and inflammation of the gum tissue and can lead to the development of gingivitis and gum disease. Irritated and inflamed gums appear red and may even bleed. Continued plaque accumulation can contribute to structural damage to your teeth and the bone supporting the teeth and gums, as well as other health complications.
How to Get Rid of Plaque
Although brushing your teeth twice a day is the most important thing you can do for your teeth, brushing alone can’t completely remove dental plaque. It is for this reason that flossing at least once a day is a very crucial part of your oral hygiene. Floss is able to remove plaque from between the teeth. Using an antiseptic mouthwash regularly is also a good way to eliminate plaque and prevent buildup.