Plaque is a sticky film that can accumulate on your teeth over time. It contains oral bacteria that can cause various oral diseases like tooth decay and gum disease. Those conditions can have serious long-term consequences for your oral health, such as tooth and bone loss, as well as your overall wellbeing.
The bacteria contained in plaque eats away at tooth enamel and causes inflammation in gum tissue. Both of these problems result in progressive conditions. That is, cavities and gum disease lead to more severe consequences if time passes and they go untreated. The end result can be the loss of teeth or underlying bone, which can require invasive interventions from your dentist.
A thorough home oral hygiene program that includes both brushing and flossing can provide the foundation you need to protect your mouth against plaque’s effects. But such an oral hygiene practice is not the only care you need.
When plaque hangs around too long it hardens into tartar, also known as calculus. This whitish-yellow substance tends to show up along the gumline and presents another problem because it cannot be removed with normal tooth brushing technique. Professional instruments are necessary to remove tartar from the teeth.
Therefore, brushing and flossing at home – even daily – is not sufficient to keep plaque completely in check. You need to visit your dentist every six months for professional cleanings to remove any lingering plaque, as well as any tartar that has accumulated over time. Keeping to such a regular schedule will help to limit the impact that plaque can have on your smile.
Furthermore, when you see your dentist every six months, relatively minor issues that can develop from plaque exposure like small cavities or gingivitis can be addressed promptly before they have the opportunity to progress into a tooth-threatening situation.
Don’t let plaque compromise your oral health. Maintain a solid daily oral hygiene regimen and be sure to come to our office at least every six months for professional cleanings and exams to minimize plaque’s effects on your smile. To schedule your next visit, call the office of Dr. Amer at 714-838-8050.