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Fort Worth TX 76104
The Long-Term Effects of Plaque Build Up
One of the main goals of teeth cleaning, whether it’s a professional cleaning or just part of your everyday oral hygiene, is to prevent the buildup of plaque. Plaque is highly acidic, and if it’s left on your teeth, it will eventually lead to tooth decay and other long-term problems.
What is Plaque?
Your mouth is home to a range of bacteria. This isn’t a problem or a result of poor hygiene. Bacteria naturally live in your mouth to help digest your food. However, they leave behind a sticky, white waste product called plaque. If the plaque isn’t removed on a regular basis, it hardens into brown tartar. Both plaque and tartar are highly acidic and can eat through the hard enamel of your teeth, creating cavities. Plaque buildup is also a precursor to gum disease, leading to inflammation in the gums and, if left untreated, eventually causing infection in the gum tissue.
If you brush and floss regularly and eat a healthy diet, the population of bacteria in your mouth won’t cause serious problems. However, if you eat food high in sugar, you’re likely to have more bacteria in your mouth producing more plaque and increasing your risk of cavities. This is because the bacteria thrive on sugar.
Getting Rid of Plaque
The best way to avoid the problems that result from plaque buildup is to keep it from collecting in the first place. In order to keep your teeth free of plaque, you should:
- Brush regularly
- Floss regularly
- Visit the dentist periodically for professional teeth cleaning
- Avoid sugary foods and beverages
Regular brushing can easily remove plaque, but when it hardens into tartar, it’s much more difficult to remove. This is where your dentist comes in. Using special tools, he can remove the tartar from your teeth, keeping it from eating through tooth enamel to cause decay. Flossing also helps remove plaque from beneath the gum line, where it can result in gingivitis or periodontal disease. Visit our dentist regularly to ensure plaque and tartar are completely removed from your teeth.
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