Dental plaque is referred to a very sticky, colorless to pale yellow deposit biofilm that forms on your teeth. It is also called as the microbial plaque. When your saliva, the food you eat, and the fluids combine, they produce tacky bacterial deposits. These get settled in the specific regions of the mouth, especially at the confluence or the junction of the teeth and gums.
Plaque contains bacteria that produce certain acids. These acids attack your tooth enamel and can also cause damage to your gums. Dental plaque generally starts to develop or form on teeth within 4 to 12 hours after brushing. The damage caused could be permanent if the condition is not attended to timely. The plaque contains millions of bacteria that feed on the food and drinks you take in every day.
Plaque is the root cause of many dental health issues. The acids produced by bacteria in plaque attack the tooth enamel, which could lead to cavities. Further, the bacteria in plaque may also cause gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease. Plaque can also cause bad breath and make your teeth look yellow and dingy.
If the bacteria deposits resulting from plaque are not cleaned regularly at home through brushing and flossing, they can cause severe conditions such as tooth decay, tartar buildup, and gum diseases.
Tartar is a hard, yellow or brown deposit that tightly sticks on to the teeth. Tartar forms on the teeth after 24 to 72 hours as a result of minerals getting deposited into the plaque biofilm. Unlike plaque which can be removed at home through regular brushing and flossing, removing tartar requires a dental professional as it bonds strongly with the tooth enamel. Individuals vary greatly in their vulnerability to tartar buildup. For many individuals, these deposits build up faster with increase in age. Higher risk of developing tartar may arise due to either or various combinations of the following conditions:
- Dry mouth
- Crowded teeth
- Substance Abuse
- Inadequate Brushing
When food, saliva, and fluids combine in your mouth, they create an environment that allows the bacteria to grow and deposit. Some common foods that lead to plaque formation and growth are those containing carbohydrates, or simple sugars, such as starch and sucrose which are found in fast food, snacks, soft drinks and candies.
Eating foods like sweets, cakes, and fruits that are high in sugar can cause an increase in plaque bacteria. Further, milk also is one of the contributors to plaque. This bacteria can lead to caries, gingivitis, and advanced gum disease. Therefore, it is important to take steps to treat and prevent it.
Plaque hides between teeth and under the gum line. It is not possible to avoid plaque altogether, so all you should do is maintain a healthy and good oral routine to keep it from forming.
You must visit your dentist once every six months for a routine dental checkup to ensure that your oral health is up to the mark. Top Notch Dental Clinic, with its experienced team of doctors and cutting-edge technology, provides patient-friendly treatment processes & plans for all your dental-related issues.