Plaque is the sticky film that clings to your teeth. It contains oral bacteria that can attack the tooth enamel and the gum tissue. When plaque is not removed through daily brushing and flossing, it can form a harder substance known as tartar, which is virtually impossible to remove with a toothbrush or floss alone.
Preventing plaque buildup is one of many reasons it’s so important to see your dentist on a semi-annual basis. Even if you’re extremely conscientious about your home oral hygiene regimen, you still may not be able to remove all of the plaque.
When you get dental cleanings every six months, the dental hygienist can use specialized tools and instruments to remove any lingering plaque. If you don’t have your teeth cleaned at regular intervals, the residual plaque can accumulate and wreak havoc on a number of structures in your mouth.
Plaque buildup has a number of consequences, and it can eventually lead to tooth loss. Tooth decay is one potential problem caused by plaque. If you see your dentist regularly, the dentist can spot signs of a cavity when it is still small and will require minimal restoration.
Another issue associated with high levels of plaque is gum or periodontal disease, which develops when those same oral bacteria cause inflammation in the gum tissue. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition, and in its most severe forms, it can cause tooth and bone loss.
Like tooth decay, gum disease is more easily (and less invasively) treated in its mildest stages. Again, when your dentist is able to identify symptoms of early-stage gum disease (gingivitis), the condition can be reversed with a thorough cleaning.
Seeing your dentist for check-ups and cleanings in combination with good oral care at home can help you to prevent plaque buildup and reduce your risk of the negative outcomes that go along with that. Check in with your dentist at Oral Dental Studio at your next appointment to make sure you are doing everything possible to minimize plaque.