Creating A More Beautiful Smile

When Bacteria Lingers Too Long And Plaque Is Born

Bacteria is a fact of life for the human body. There are even beneficial, "good" bacteria present in some places. It's mostly unwelcome in your mouth, however. Bacteria just love the environment there. It's moist and warm enough in your mouth to encourage bacteria to thrive and wreak havoc. While just the thought of bacteria in one's mouth is bad enough, the damage it can do can be serious. Read below and find out more about how bacteria that linger too long can create damaging plaque.

Plaque is Formed

Your mouth is a unique organ and everyone has various levels of dental health. Some people, for example, have less saliva than others. This lack of nature's mouthwash occurs for no reason at all in some. In others, it's due to medication, aging, or medical conditions. When you are unable to naturally wash away bacteria it begins to form plaque.

Plaque is not a solid substance like you may think but more of an acid that eats away at your enamel. When enamel becomes thin and weak, crevices can form and invite even more bacteria in. This, in turn, leads to both cavities and gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease eventually weakens the bone structure beneath the teeth and that damage is permanent. Only a bone graft corrects weak jawbones. From the bacteria formation to bone loss is a short journey but you have several opportunities to interrupt that damaging process along the way.

Fighting Plaque

Your first line of defense is the tried and true standby — brush often and floss well. The main cause of bacteria is food and drinks we consume and it doesn't necessarily have to be something sweet to promote the growth of bacteria. Brushing after every meal removes a great deal of bacteria that can cause plaque. As you brush, concentrate your efforts near the location where bacteria thrive, your gum line.

Brushing does a good job of cleaning wide areas of your teeth but you'll need a more precise route to get in-between teeth. If you don't manage to floss all day, don't forget to do so before you go to bed. Otherwise, you are providing the bacteria between your teeth with plenty of time to do their thing and cause damage.

By the way, plaque doesn't remain plaque. If it stays on your teeth too long, it turns into tartar. This substance is too tough to be removed with a brush and must be removed professionally by a dental hygienist. For more tips on keeping your mouth bacteria, plaque, and tartar-free, speak to your dentist.

For more information, reach out to a dental clinic like Wallington Dental.