Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. Bacteria in plaque produce acids after you eat or drink.These acids can destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities and gingivitis
Untreated plaque can harden into (tough to remove ) tartar. Proper oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing gets rid of plaque
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
● plaque forms when bacteria present in mouth mixes with sugary or starchy foods such as milk, juice, bread ,pasta and soft drinks. These bacteria release acids that breakdown carbohydrates in food and drinks.
● Symptoms : A fuzzy feeling on teeth is the top sign of plaque. Other indicators include halitosis( bad breath ) and red , swollen , tender gums that bleed after brushing.
Plaque and tartar can lead to
• Gingivitis and periodontal disease
• Tooth decay and loss
• Tooth infection ( Abcessed tooth)
Since plaque can cause cavities, dental X rays to check cavities. Dental hygienest uses instruments during regular checkups to find and remove plaque
MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT
Good oral hygiene includes regular brushing and flossing, removes plaque and prevents tartar buildup.
● Fluoride treatments : to slow the growth of plaque causing bacteria and stop tooth decay
● Chlorhexidine Mouthwash
● Dry mouth medication : to increase saliva production
Plaque can be prevented by :
● Floss daily: Floss once a day with dental Floss or water flosser to get rid of food and plaque stuck between teeth. Studies shows that flossing before brushing teeth removes more plaque
● Brush twice a day: brush for 2 minutes with soft bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
● Use mouthwash : rinse with an over the counter or prescription antiseptic mouth wash
● Choose healthy food: Cut down sugary, starchy foods and drinks