11 May Long-Term Effects of Plaque Buildup
Plaque building up in the mouth is one of the root causes of many dental health issues, from bad breath to tooth decay to gum disease. Regular oral care and visits to your dentist will help reduce this buildup and keep problems from becoming serious.
What Is Plaque?
Plaque is a sticky white substance that clings to your teeth. It is created as a waste product by the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. These bacteria live on sugars and food particles that remain on the teeth. Brushing your teeth can remove plaque before it has a chance to build up, so it’s very important to brush and floss regularly.
If plaque is left on the teeth, it hardens into tartar. Tartar is hard, brownish, and much more difficult to remove than plaque. When you visit the dentist, your dental team will use special tools to remove the tartar from your teeth. Regular, professional cleanings are very important to ensure your teeth are kept clear of tartar to prevent tooth decay and eventual tooth loss.
Effects of Plaque Buildup
Over time, if plaque is left to build up and form tartar, this buildup will lead to tooth decay. Both plaque and tartar are highly acidic. This acid can eat through the tooth enamel, creating cavities. Extensive decay can severely damage your teeth and eventually cause you to lose them. Untreated decay can also spread to adjacent teeth, or can lead to infection in the tooth’s interior, which can spread into the facial bones or sinuses.
Untreated plaque buildup can seem minor at first, but eventually the results can be devastating. Losing any of your teeth – even just one – can cause all your teeth to move out of alignment. Misalignment causes problems like uneven and premature wear, a proclivity for teeth grinding, and even misalignment of the jaw joint. By brushing and flossing consistently and visiting your dentist regularly, you can help maintain your dental health.
If it’s time to schedule your next dental exam and professional cleaning, contact Friendly Dental Care at 740-687-6105 today.