You hear about dental plaque all the time in advertisements for toothpaste and mouthwash. Just what is plaque, why do you need to efficiently get rid of it, and how can you do so?
Learning these answers can make all the difference in the state of your dental health.
How a Biofilm Forms
Dental plaque is a biofilm. It occurs naturally and is made up of living things. It’s essentially a combination of food debris, natural fluids produced by your mouth, and naturally occurring bacteria. Everyone has plaque! It forms within hours after brushing and is invisible until it significantly accumulates. The longer it stays undisturbed, the more harmful bacteria gather.
Plaque – Why Is It Bad?
When allowed to grow uninterrupted, the biofilm in plaque multiply and live safely within the matrix, or fluids, of the plaque. The presence of the bacteria is what triggers an inflammatory reaction in the gums.
Have you ever had a splinter in your finger? The wound gets swollen and inflamed because your body is reacting to remove the unwelcome germs. Your gums respond similarly to the bad bacteria in plaque.
This inflammation is what makes your gums puffy, sensitive, and prone to bleeding when brushed or flossed. This happens because small blood vessels in your gums have expanded. This inflammation is called gingivitis.
What You Can Do
Control plaque formation by:
Visiting your dentist is imperative to make sure your gum health is stable. If your current routine of oral care needs adjusting, then the team at your local dental office will give you the best personalized recommendations. Call your dentist today!
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
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