Although your teeth may appear clean, the fact is they are always subject to a substance known as plaque. Plaque is a thin, sticky coating which adheres to tooth enamel, causing tooth decay and gum disease, if left untreated.
Today’s toothpastes and mouthwash solutions are effective in reducing the effects of plaque, and also help to lessen the amount that coats our teeth. Regular dentist checkups can also help remove the heavier deposits and treat any problems that may occur. [pullquote]Plaque is highly acidic and can attack and erode tooth enamel.[/pullquote]
Plaque forms as a result of the actions of different bacteria in a person’s mouth. When we eat, for example, it is common for food debris to be left behind; it isn’t always practical to brush and floss immediately afterwards, and bacteria in the mouth is attracted to the food remnants. As the food is eroded by the bacteria, it creates a coating on the teeth.
Plaque is highly acidic and can attack and erode tooth enamel. If left on the tooth for a period of time, it begins to harden and forms a new substance called tartar. Like plaque, tartar is also acidic and can continue to erode the tooth enamel. However, it is much more difficult to remove; often brushing and the use of a mouthwash are not sufficient to prevent tartar from building up, and a visit to a dentist is often required.
A dentist can remove tartar from a patient’s teeth using special tools, which is recommended, not just to protect teeth but also for aesthetic reasons, as tartar is unsightly and can make a person’s smile look discolored.
Without removal, tartar – also called calculus – can lead to more severe problems such as gingivitis, which is an early indicator of gum disease; patients with heavy build-up should seek dental help to remove it before it affects the health of the patient’s teeth and gums. Further delays in removal of the tartar could lead to eventual bone and tooth loss.
Patients can help prevent plaque build up and reduce the onset of tartar by regular brushing with a good toothpaste, rinsing with mouthwash and also by flossing regularly. Regular check-ups with a dentist for professional dental cleanings can help remove more stubborn deposits and preserve healthy teeth and smile!
To schedule your teeth cleaning to reduce plaque, contact our Toronto office at 416-922-1012.