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A General Dentist in Sterling Explains Plaque and What it Does to Teeth
You may have heard from your general dentist about the problems that plaque can cause for your teeth. Every time that you eat, you are leaving food particles on your teeth that can allow bacteria to form. The good news is that there are ways to reduce the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Read on to learn more about what plaque is and what it can do to your teeth.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a film that builds up on the teeth and it is soft and sticky. It contains millions of bacteria, which can cause decay for a patient’s teeth. This bacteria can also cause gum disease if it is not regularly removed by flossing and brushing.
The bacteria can eat away at the enamel of the patient’s teeth because it uses the sugars from food particles to produce acids. The acids will gradually eat away at the enamel, which can eventually result in a hole, or cavity, on the surface of the tooth.
What if plaque is not removed?
A patient needs to remove plaque from the teeth each day from brushing and flossing. If the plaque is not removed, it can harden and become a substance known as tartar. Once tartar has formed, it becomes extremely difficult to properly brush the teeth. The tartar cannot be removed at home. A general dentist must remove this tartar.
Because the tartar prevents the patient from properly cleaning their teeth, the gum tissue can become infected. This is known as an early stage of gum disease and it can cause the patient’s teeth to bleed when brushed or flossed. The good news is that the early stages of gum disease can easily be reversed. A general dentist can remove the tartar and plaque from the teeth. The patient can then continue to brush and floss regularly.
On the other hand, if gum disease is not treated, it can become periodontitis. This is a severe form of gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss. The bacteria cause the gums to become infected. This leads to the jawbone and gums beginning to break down and the patient’s gums can begin to recede as they pull away from the teeth.
To remove plaque from the teeth, patients should brush at least twice a day and even after every meal. A general dentist can show the patient the right way to brush and floss the teeth to ensure that all of the harmful substances will be removed.
Visit a general dentist today
Plaque is a problem for patients. If it is not removed, then the patient may experience gum disease, cavities and even tooth loss. However, visiting a general dentist will allow your plaque to be removed quickly and efficiently. Depending on your oral history, your general dentist will be able to tell you how often you need to come in for regular cleanings and exams.
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