Your teeth and gums serve your smile well during their lifetime, and with proper care most people can count on having their teeth last a good long life. Plaque is one of those things you want to prevent, as it can damage teeth and gums. Plaque is that sticky bacterial film that coats your teeth and gums which you can feel by running your tongue along the back and bottom of your teeth. Plaque has the ability to slowly destroy tooth enamel. This is no small feat, as tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. How does this work?
Acids – it will help to remember that the mouth is home to colonies of bacteria. These bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars in the foods you eat and drink. If not removed, plaque can harden in a relatively short period of time into tartar. This is why daily removal through brushing and flossing is crucial. After plaque has hardened, it will require scaling instruments to remove and by your dentist.
Decay – as tooth enamel erodes due to this acid, it loses minerals. This means tiny holes can arise in the enamel allowing the bacteria and acid to reach the sensitive dentin layer beneath. After that the erosive effects continue, reaching to the pulp of the tooth which houses blood vessels and nerves. The result? Pain when you bite down, tooth sensitivity or even a toothache. At this stage, your body will fight the infection by creating an abscess (or a pocket of pus in the pulp) likely requiring a root canal.
Don’t let plaque harm your pearly whites. You serve on the front line of daily defense with meticulous brushing and flossing. At your side is your dental team, which will keep hardened plaque from your teeth and gum line, as well as helping to keep gum disease at bay.
If it is time for your next cleaning with Dr. Jose-Luis Ruiz, please call our dental team in Burbank, California at 818-558-4332 today. Your smile will thank you!