Throughout the day, a sticky film known as plaque, or dental biofilm, starts to form between your teeth and along your gum line. While plaque is completely normal, it can be damaging if not removed on a regular basis. This is because plaque contains bacteria and food particles, and as the bacteria starts breaking down the food particles, toxins are secreted. This can lead to gum inflammation and tooth decay when left in contact with the teeth and gums for too long.
While plaque can sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to be a cause for concern when you take the right precautions. To get rid of the plaque that forms on your teeth, good oral hygiene habits are essential. The following steps should be taken regularly to prevent plaque buildup:
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day
- Floss every day to get hard-to-reach plaque
- Get a professional teeth cleaning and exam at least twice per year
If you’re concerned about the health of your mouth, make sure you are following the advice mentioned above, as well as any personalized advice from your dentist. It’s important that you maintain good oral wellness and keep plaque under control to avoid more serious health problems. When cavities develop and are not treated early on, the decay can go into the root of the tooth, leading to nerve damage and the need for a root canal. When plaque causes gum inflammation, this can be a sign of gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease.
If you suffer from chronic inflammation, whether in your mouth or another area of your body, this affects your immune system, as well. Studies have shown that inflammation, such as that experienced from gum disease, can increase a person’s risk of severe health problems, like heart disease, stroke, and even some cancers. This is why preventing advanced oral problems with good hygiene practices is important for your long-term health.
Any pain or abnormal symptoms affecting your teeth and gums may be a sign that you should schedule an oral exam to ensure you don’t have any underlying issues. Should you have an advanced oral problem, such as gum disease, our dentists may recommend various types of periodontal therapies. Depending on your unique needs, our experienced team can perform a scaling and root planing procedure, or they may suggest a treatment with antibiotics and/or Perio Protect®.
To learn more about how to minimize plaque and maintain your overall dental health, please contact Austin Dental Spa to schedule your appointment.