All About Dental Plaque

You have probably heard of the dangers of dental plaque. Below is an overview of the dental problem so you can better prevent it.

What It Is and How It Forms

Plaque is a sticky substance that covers the surfaces of the teeth, primarily between the surfaces between adjacent teeth. Plaque is primarily made up of different forms of bacteria. Plaque forms when you frequently leave bits of food, mainly carbohydrates, on your teeth. Bacteria feed on the carbohydrates and multiply. After a time, the bacteria become so numerous that they form a thin film over the surfaces of the teeth.

The Dangers

Plaque is dangerous and can lead to devastating teeth damage. The damage mainly occurs due to the acids that bacteria in the plaque release as they continue to feed and grow. The acids attack the enamel, which is the outermost layer of the teeth.

This is dangerous because the enamel protects the critical inner structures of the teeth, such as the dentin. With the enamel gone, bacteria can directly affect the inner tooth structures and trigger infections. Not only that, but the enamel damage also exposes your tooth to external stimuli, mainly to cold and hot food and drinks, giving rise to a condition known as dentin hypersensitivity.

If you don't treat such infections, it can spread to the tissues supporting your teeth and even your jawbone. You can easily lose the affected teeth. In the long term, the infection can get into your bloodstream and affect vital organs in your body, including your heart.


As dangerous as plaque is, there are practical measures you can take to keep it at bay. Here are some of these measures:

Brush and Floss

Brushing and flossing are good mechanical actions for getting rid of food remains on the teeth. Brushing and flossing also take care of plaque that is beginning to form on the teeth. You should brush at least twice every day and floss at least once a day.

Limit Snacks Between Meals

Snacking between meals is dangerous because you won't always brush or floss after eating. The longer food remains on your teeth, the more bacteria will multiply on your teeth.

Use Antibacterial Mouth Rinse

Antibacterial mouth rinses contain chemicals that attack bacteria. Using the rinses to clean your teeth reduces the amount of plaque on your teeth.

Get Regular Dental Cleaning

Flossing, brushing, and rinsing your teeth are good starts, but they don't get rid of all bacteria on the teeth. Get regular dental cleaning from the dentist to get rid of plaque or debris that continually builds up in the mouth. 

For more tips, contact a local clinic like Desert Dental: Ruintan Kamran D.M.D.