Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Does The Dentist Mean By Plaque?

When the dentist says you have plaque, do you know what that is? What about tartar, and the effects that both have on your mouth? Do you know how dentists take care of these two before they can cause serious harm? The answers to these questions are essential for those who wish to keep their teeth and mouth healthy and clean.

Materia alba, or plaque, is a problem that spans the entire globe, affecting nearly the entire population of Earth. Plaque is a type of bacteria that feeds on carbohydrates, and multiplies vigorously when there is an abundance of them. That is why dentists warn about consuming foods and drinks with high levels of sugar, as sugar provides the food needed for rapid growth.

Plaque can form in a less than five hours after eating, and coats the teeth and tongue in a thin film. The coating film is actually the waste of the bacteria after feasting. Leaving plaque alone for extended time periods will lead to the buildup of tartar.

Calculus or tartar is when plaque begins to calcify on the teeth and in the space between the gums. Being much harder than plaque, it is easily stained and causes bad breath, along with inflammation, which makes the gums bleed. Leaving it to build up further causes the bones and tissue holding the teeth in place to be eaten away, which leads to gum disease and tooth decay with time, ending with teeth falling out permanently.

In order to take care of plaque and tartar, dentists will clean the teeth on each visit. It starts out with using dental tools that vibrate rapidly, to break loose the buildup of the bacterial waste and make it easier to wash out. After that, they go by hand, using a curved hook-like instrument to scrape off the lingering remains in between the teeth and gum line, which may bleed slightly in the process. To close, they polish the teeth.

In severe cases, they do deep cleaning. This involves numbing the mouth since the deep scaling goes below the gum line and towards the nerves. Then they undergo root planning to prevent tooth loss, by making the gum tissue cling to the roots of the teeth even tighter.

When a doctor says you have plaque, you should now understand that it is the waste of bacteria that leads to tartar buildup. The buildup can lead to several problems, such tooth decay, and dentists take care of it through cleaning and scaling. You can keep your teeth strong by watching what you eat and brushing every day, preventing the need for deep cleaning.

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