08 Jul The Long-term Effects of Plaque Build-up
Plaque is a sticky biofilm that collects on the teeth. This substance harbors oral bacteria, which can attack both the enamel and the gum tissue, causing tooth decay and periodontal disease.
If you fail to clear it from the surface of the teeth, plaque will begin to harden in as little as 48 hours, and calculus (tartar) begins to form within a matter of days. As plaque builds up, it can have serious consequences for your dental well-being.
When plaque is left to proliferate, it can ultimately lead to tooth loss, bone loss or serious infections that reach the innermost structures of the teeth. Regular visits to your family dentist will help keep your levels of plaque in check and minimize its accumulation.[pullquote] If you fail to clear it from the surface of the teeth, plaque will begin to harden in as little as 48 hours, and calculus (tartar) begins to form within a matter of days.[/pullquote]
When you get a routine checkup at the family dentist, you are likely to receive a thorough, professional cleaning from a dental hygienist. This helps to remove any plaque that is still clinging to the teeth. The hygienist can also use special instruments to dislodge tartar from the gumline.
You can also take steps at home to limit the buildup of plaque and tartar. Brush thoroughly twice a day, and for at least two minutes each session. Take care to brush along the gumline as well to restrict the presence of plaque there. Daily flossing also helps to disrupt the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Patients who find that they form plaque quickly may also want to add a mouthwash to their oral hygiene routines as another safeguard.
In addition to being detrimental to your oral health, tartar is unsightly as well. It can be visible along the gumline, marring an otherwise picture-perfect smile. Keep this in mind when you consider the benefits of semi-annual dental cleanings.
Excessive levels of plaque are cause for concern. Stick to a six-month schedule for your dental check-ups and cleanings to reduce the presence of plaque in your mouth. If you are beyond that six-month window from your last appointment, contact our dental team to schedule a visit soon.