Plaque is a pesky and persistent problem where your smile is concerned. Not only is plaque buildup the leading cause of cavities, but it’s also a common cause for gum disease, as well. If you want to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile, fighting plaque matters. Daily brushing and flossing can help prevent plaque from building up, but once it has calcified onto your teeth only a professional cleaning can remove it. If you want to avoid dental problems in the future, it’s important to take great care of your teeth and gums now.
Causes for Plaque Problems
While even healthy mouths are filled with bacteria, when plaque bacteria is given too much sugar to feed on, it can create an acidic environment, which can lead to cavities. Plaque buildup is also the primary cause of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America, today.
Flossing and brushing help limit plaque buildup, but often are not enough to completely prevent it. That is why regular professional cleanings are necessary parts of a preventive care routine. During a cleaning, the dentist can check to see if your smile is healthy, and help to restore it if it is not. Removing any plaque that has already calcified is often enough to reverse the early stages of gum disease. In the case of a cavity, a filling or crown may be necessary to protect the fragile tooth from further decay.
The dentist may also recommend fluoride treatments as a way to prevent future cavities. Fluoride can help limit plaque’s ability to calcify on teeth. Staying well hydrated is also key, though, as saliva is a natural plaque fighter.