Plaque is a thick buildup that occurs throughout the body and causes damage by not allowing certain aspects to function properly. Plaque buildup can occur in the arteries and prevent blood from freely flowing to the heart, causing significant health issues. Plaque buildup that occurs inside the mouth leaves your entire oral health vulnerable to decay, infection, disease, and tooth loss. Dental plaque should never be ignored because your oral health has a direct link to your overall health.
Dental plaque is the sticky film that develops on the teeth throughout the day. If you have ever run your tongue over your teeth late in the day and felt a fuzzy film, then you have felt just how much plaque can accumulate on a daily basis. Dental plaque is caused by a reaction between the bacteria inside your mouth and the foods and drinks that you consume. In every substance other than water, sugars and particles are left behind inside the mouth. The bacteria congregate around these particles, causing a chemical reaction to occur. While the bacteria mean to be helpful by breaking down these particles, their method of “helping” is just the opposite.
As the bacteria go to work to break down particles and sugars left behind, they start producing acids to assist in their endeavors. It is these acids that compromise the health of the entire mouth, because just like any other type of acid, the acids produced inside the mouth will destroy whatever is in their path. Your teeth and gum tissues are left compromised by the assault of acids inside dental plaque, and if this plaque is not removed on a daily basis significant damage will begin.
Removing dental plaque on a daily basis is the most important factor to your oral health. Flossing your teeth every single day must be a priority in order to keep your mouth free from the damaging effects of plaque. Floss is the only tool that has been specifically designed to glide underneath plaque and scrape it away from the teeth. Your toothbrush is not designed to do this, so whether your brush twice a day or six times a day, plaque will still accumulate if you are not flossing. If plaque is allowed to accumulate, it will begin to harden into tartar – a calcified mineral that discolors the teeth and leaves them constantly attacked by acid-producing bacteria.
Dona W. Prince, DDS, wants to encourage you to make flossing on a daily basis a priority. Achieving and maintaining optimal oral health takes commitment. Remember, the more you floss at home, the less your dentist will need to scrape your teeth!
Posted on behalf of Dona W. Prince, DDS
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Dona W. Prince, DDS
Sioux City, IA 51106