Your Teeth’s Hidden EnemyMaking sure that your teeth will stick around and look good for a long time is the result of having good oral health. You can be sure that it does not happen by accident, and it is also true that many people do not know until it is too late. If you want to know the secret to have good dental health, it starts at home.
What Is Dental Plaque?Every day you will find that there is a film that forms on your teeth. It is nearly invisible and it is called dental plaque. The film is sticky, and it is made up of bacteria. The bacteria are naturally in your mouth, and some of it is good, and some are just plain bad. The bacteria multiply fast enough to form this film every single day.
Every time you eat sugars or carbs, the bacteria feed, too. Unfortunately, the bad bacteria produce an acid afterward. Because most Americans eat a lot of sweets, this has resulted in a lot of dental problems. In fact, 19 percent of adults over 65 do not have any natural teeth.
Why Does Plaque Need to Be Removed?As long as the bacteria are left on the teeth to form acid, it is damaging the enamel on your teeth. This leads to eroded enamel, cavities, and sensitive teeth. Some of the bacteria will cause cavities, and another kind causes gum disease.
Even worse is that when the plaque is not removed, it becomes tartar (also called calculus). Plaque can easily be removed, but tartar can only be removed by a dentist. Tartar is hard but porous, and the bacteria are still in the tartar and continue to cause damage – and you have no way to stop it.
How Serious Is Gum Disease?The acid from bad bacteria in the plaque will also start to irritate the gums. This leads to inflammation. As the bacteria enter the gums, it can also enter the bloodstream, and from there to the rest of your body. Once there, even more serious damage starts to occur.
It is now known that inflammation and the bacteria that cause gum disease are behind the development of many serious health problems. This includes diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, several kinds of cancer, and many more.
As the bacteria begin to build up in pockets in the gums, the acid is still being produced. Only now it is being made in larger quantities and you have no way to remove it – or stop it. The acid now slowly destroys your gums, the support structures for your teeth, and your jaw bone. Before long, if not treated, your teeth will start to become loose, and may even completely fall out.
Where Did All These Problems Start?The health of your mouth and your body start deteriorating when plaque – a nearly invisible film – is not eliminated from your teeth every day. The longer it stays on your teeth, the more damage that is done to your teeth. How is it removed? All this is needed is just to brush twice a day and floss.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?The first symptoms you will have of gum disease are bleeding gums and red or inflamed gums. Most people never take this seriously, but it indicates that the bacteria and acid are already at work – and they are in your bloodstream already.
How Is Tartar Removed?Tartar is made up of various minerals that are found in your saliva. It forms at the gum line, as well as below it. It is hard and only your dentist can remove it with special dental tools. After removing the tartar, the dentist will polish your teeth, which removes rough surfaces that the bacteria can easily accumulate on.
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?Keeping the bacteria off of your teeth is the way to maintain healthy teeth. By regularly brushing teeth twice a day and carefully flossing, you can keep enough plaque off to ensure that you will keep your teeth longer. Using some anti-microbial mouthwash will also help.
If you already have plaque buildup on your teeth, and tartar, it will be necessary to have a dental cleaning. You also may have gingivitis or the more severe periodontitis. Several types of gum disease treatment are available at the dentist office, where you can get an evaluation and correction of dental problems.
If you need dental tartar removal to help eliminate plaque and if you live in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas, you can get help with your dental health from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist. He can help to restore healthy teeth, as well as provide cosmetic dentistry to give you back the beautiful smile you want. For more information about his dental services, or to set up an appointment, you can call his office today at (817) 756-8578.