How To Know If You Have Plaque In Your Arteries – Visit our office before your appointment so you can see how the latest technology can make your visit even better!
Plaque, like many oral health problems, begins as a silent threat. You may recognize this colorless sticky film as the fuzzy coating you feel when you first wake up. For many, plaque discoloration may be the only symptom. However, in some cases more noticeable symptoms occur, such as receding gums or bad breath.
How To Know If You Have Plaque In Your Arteries
Plaque builds up in your mouth when foods containing carbohydrates (i.e. sugar and starch) remain on your teeth as you eat and drink and while you sleep each night. Bacteria living in the mouth feed on this food and produce acids. Plaque is called a “biofilm” because it is actually a community of living microbes surrounded by layers of sticky polymer. The sticky coating helps microbes attach to surfaces in the mouth so they can grow into thriving microcolonies.
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Active dental care is the best way to fight plaque. These include brushing and flossing regularly, limiting sugary foods and drinks, and visiting the dentist twice a year. If brushing with a regular soft-bristled brush isn’t enough, you may want to consider using an electric toothbrush and/or a toothpaste that contains baking soda. In addition, mouthwashes containing small amounts of menthol, thyme, wintergreen, and eucalyptus have been shown to help reduce plaque and gingivitis.
If plaque isn’t removed regularly while it’s still soft, it can combine with the minerals in your saliva to form crystals and turn into tartar. Tartar, which is usually yellow or brown in color, forms on the gums at the front and back of the teeth. If left untreated, tartar can lead to a number of complications, including tooth decay and gum disease. It should be noted that plaque that has turned into tartar cannot be removed by regular brushing and must be removed by a dentist. Our dentists and oral hygienists can remove this during your regular checkups and cleanings. Your mouth is dark and moist – the perfect breeding ground for some of these pesky germs… If these germs are allowed to do their thing, they can build up plaque and tartar. But what is plaque and how does it differ from tartar?
If you were previously confused by this question – you are not alone! Most of our patients think they have a lot of plaque build up, but they are always concerned about tartar on their lower front teeth!
So what is the difference between plaque and tartar and why are they bad for you, your teeth and gums?
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In this blog, we take a detailed look at plaque and tartar and what you can do to keep them under control!
Plaque is a sticky, colorless or pale yellow/white film that is usually found between the teeth, on the front of the teeth, behind the teeth, on the chewing surfaces, and on or under the gums. Yes, the raid is everywhere! This sticky film is made up of millions of bacteria and proteins from your saliva.
Plaque constantly accumulates in the mouth and begins to form a few minutes after brushing! Plaque is hard to see on teeth because they are white/yellow in color. However, if you run your tongue in front of your teeth in the morning before brushing, you may feel some furrows or rough areas.
Immediately after brushing, saliva begins to cover the surface of the teeth. The bacteria then attach to saliva proteins and over time begin to spread and multiply. This means you need to brush and floss regularly to prevent plaque from building up in your mouth.
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Plaque is the main cause of many oral health problems. The bacteria in plaque eat what you eat and drink. And they produce acid. The more plaque on your teeth, the more acid they have. Acid dissolves tooth enamel, resulting in caries. This is how caries develops.
Plaque on the gums can irritate the gums, causing them to become inflamed and bleed. This is called gingivitis.
Gingivitis is the beginning of gum disease and at this stage it is still reversible if you maintain good oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist regularly. If left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease. In addition, plaque can contribute to bad breath and make teeth yellow and dull.
Tartar is dental plaque that has hardened or mineralized over time. It mainly consists of calcium phosphate (deposited from saliva) and dead bacteria. Once tartar has formed, it cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. That’s why it’s important to see your dentist and visit them regularly for professional cleanings to remove tartar buildup.
The Difference Between Plaque And Calculus
Tartar forms in different people at different rates, depending on the quality and concentration of calcium in the saliva. As a result, some people may need a professional cleaning every 3-4 months. Some people only need it once a year. These are all variable and your dental hygienist will be best able to determine the best intervals for you.
Where plaque is visible, tartar is also visible. And it’s usually under the gums—in obvious places you can’t see. Because tartar has a rough surface, it’s a great place for even more plaque to build up!
The rough surface of tartar combined with excess plaque can irritate the gums. Sometimes irritation of the gums causes a strong reaction of the immune system. When this happens, the gums actually become inflamed and begin to peel away from the teeth. Over time, your gums begin to shrink, along with the bones and ligaments that hold your teeth together. This is called periodontitis. Periodontitis is a progressive gum disease, and if left untreated, your teeth can become so loose that they simply fall out.
Periodontitis is a serious matter. It usually causes no pain or symptoms until it has progressed enough to form an abscess. But it has been linked to other diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
How To Know If You Have Periodontal Disease
The good news is that if caught early, gum disease can be treated and reversed. That’s why regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist are so important, because without a thorough exam, you won’t know if you have gum disease. *Make sure your dentist does a thorough examination for gum disease at every appointment*
Fighting plaque is critical to protecting your teeth and gums for life. Both tooth decay and gum disease are largely preventable, meaning you have control over what happens to your teeth and gums. Here are some simple things you can do to prevent plaque and tartar:
As you can see, plaque and tartar are two different things that affect oral health in different ways. When you understand how cavities and gum disease work, you can make choices that address the root of the problem. This way you can avoid contracting these preventable diseases. Cavities are possible damage to your teeth. This can lead to cavities, tooth decay or even tooth loss. This is caused by the activity of certain types of bacteria that can live in plaque.
Bacteria in plaque can turn the sugars in your food into acids. If plaque builds up over time, these acids can damage your teeth.
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Caries occurs in many stages. Below, we’ll look at each of these stages, discuss how to treat tooth decay, and give some tips on how to prevent it.
Plaque is crucial to the process of tooth decay. Plaque is a colorless sticky film that covers the surface of your teeth. It consists of bacteria, food particles and saliva.
If you don’t brush your teeth regularly, plaque can start to form. Over time, it hardens and forms the so-called tartar. The presence of tartar will additionally protect bacteria and make it difficult to remove them.
The outer layer of your teeth is made up of a type of tissue called enamel. There is enamel
Gum Disease • Ascent Dental Care
However, when the tooth is exposed to acids that produce plaque bacteria, the enamel begins to lose these minerals.
When this happens, you may see a white spot on one of your teeth. This area of mineral loss is an early sign of tooth decay.
If the tooth decay process continues, the enamel will continue to decay. You may notice that the white spot on the tooth darkens to brown.
As the enamel weakens, small cavities form in your teeth
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