There are millions of bacteria which live in our mouths on a regular basis and most of them are harmless. However, bacteria feeds on sugar compounds and eventually colonize to form that sticky white substance known as plaque. This translucent film coats teeth and settles into areas along the gum line. In just a few days, this sticky plaque can harden into tarter which is more difficult to remove. So, let’s explore why plaque build-up is so harmful to oral health.
The Progression of Plaque
Since plaque settles along the gum line, untreated build-up irritates the gums and will eventually lead to gingivitis or gum disease. Bacteria in plaque and tarter will ultimately work its way down beneath the gum line and begin to weaken teeth at the roots. This can lead to advanced gum disease which is the leading cause of tooth loss.
Plaque build-up is just as harmful to teeth above the gum line because it weakens them. As the bacteria feed and colonize, they produce acid which breaks down the enamel on teeth. As the enamel is worn down, cavities begin to form and eat away at the teeth. Untreated tooth decay can cause infections and may result in tooth loss.
Plaque and Your General Health
Untreated plaque build-up is not only harmful to teeth, it can negatively affect your general health. It enters your body through the gum line and can cause a host of health complications. Untreated tooth decay can lead to infections and other issues. Research has shown a strong correlation between oral health and general health, so your best bet is to develop good oral hygiene and see the dentist regularly.
Our dental team has the experience and the special tools to remove plaque build-up which brushing may miss. Professional teeth cleanings at the dentist are vital to your health. If it’s time to schedule your next visit, call Parker-Nickolas-Read Dental today. Our caring staff will welcome you and answer any questions you may have.