Your gums have an important job to do. Actually more than one. Yes, they do keep your teeth in place, which is no small thing, However, they also keep your mouth and the rest of your body safe from the effects of the bacteria in your mouth. Don’t take it personally, but your mouth is full of bacteria. In fact, everyone’s mouth is full of bacteria, it’s a part of life. No matter how well your brush and floss, you will still have bacteria. If you develop gum disease, the bacteria in your mouth can make its way into your body. You may inhale it over time which could be a contributing factor in some respiratory problems, and if that bacteria manages to find its way into your bloodstream, you could be looking at cardiovascular problems, which could include the inflammation of your heart valves or a buildup of arterial plaque. You could even be at risk for dementia.
Plaque is the buildup of sticky film on your teeth from the things you eat. If you do not remove it, it will harden into a substance called tartar. Your plaque contains bacteria that causes two main problems. The first is tooth decay. The bacteria in your plaque will get together with the sugars from your food, including carbohydrates. Once those two meet, they start producing acid that will start to eat away and your tooth enamel and create cavities. The other problem is that as plaque builds up your teeth, your gums begin to swell, which allows more plaque and the bacteria to accumulate below the gumline. This can lead to gum disease which often shows no symptoms in its earliest stages.
Now that we have you worried about plaque, let’s talk about some solutions. One of the best things you can do to combat plaque is to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride and ingredients to fight plaque and tartar. Some mouthwashes also contain substances to reduce plaque. Flossing once a day can remove the plaque and food debris from between your teeth. If you have questions about which dental products you should use, talk to our dentist, Dr. Gary W.D. Lee about his recommendation. You should also make sure that you see us at least twice a year for your routine cleanings and exams. During these visits, we will remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth and check for the signs of gum disease. If the plaque on your teeth has started to accumulate below your gum line, the dentist can remove it through a process known as a deep cleaning. During this process, the dentist will remove the plaque from your teeth above and below the gumline, and clean and smooth the roots of your teeth.
Dental plaque is a fact of life. However, it is not a something that you have to live with. If you are concerned about the effects of plaque on your teeth and your oral health in Diamond Bar, California, call Gary W. Lee, DDS at 909-861-2331 today, and we’ll help you get started on your new smile!