If you’ve seen any toothbrush or toothpaste advertisement, then you’ve heard that plaque accumulation can be detrimental to your oral health. Where does plaque come from, though, and what makes it so bad for your teeth and gums? As you continue reading, your family dentist in Putnam provides some insight and further explains what you can do to protect yourself.
What is Plaque?
The main threat to your oral health is bacteria growth. The microorganisms are always present in your mouth, vigilantly looking for any leftover food or beverage debris to feed on. When the bacteria are fed, they quickly multiply, while releasing caustic fluids that can contribute to tooth and gum decay.
Over time, if allowed to fester, several types of bacteria can join together to form plaque, which is a sticky and clear substance that clings to the teeth and gums. The more time it’s given to develop, the more havoc it can cause.
How Plaque Buildup Affects Your Teeth and Gums
If plaque development is ignored, it can eventually lead to the following problems:
- Cavity development
- An infected pulp
- Gum disease
- Gum recession
- Tooth loss
Additionally, failing to remove plaque can encourage such health issues as hypertension, heart disease, stroke and several forms of cancer. However, by taking preventive measures, you can better guard against these problems.
Preventing Plaque Accumulation
One of the main ways to prevent plaque accumulation is to practice consistent oral hygiene. This should include brushing for a minimum of two minutes, twice daily. In addition, it’s important to floss every time you brush to remove the hard-to-reach debris that can hide between your teeth.
The foods and beverages you consume also play a major role in fortifying your oral health. Because sugar is the food of choice of bacteria, limiting your consumption of sugary sodas, juices, alcohol, desserts, candy and other sweet treats, will help to stave-off the growth of new bacteria.
A final way to avoid the ills of plaque development is to maintain six-month visits with a dentist for cleanings and examinations. The former will ensure that any existing plaque and tartar can be eliminated before they can cause havoc. Then, the careful checkup will identify any issues so that a plan of action can be created to restore your oral health.
With the end of the year approaching and time running out to maximize this year’s benefits, now is the perfect time to pay your dentist in Putnam a visit. Not only will it protect you from the problems related to plaque buildup, but it will also save you money!
About the Author
Dr. Carolyn E. McGinn earned her dental degree from Harvard School of Dental Medicine, which she followed with a General Practice Residency at Long Island Jewish Hospital. For the past 25 years, she has helped patients avoid the problems related to plaque buildup by providing top-notch preventive and restorative care at her private practice. Dr. McGinn can be reached for more information through her website.