What Exactly is Plaque and Why is it Harmful?

Plaque is something that forms naturally on our teeth after we have eaten or over time. We brush our teeth to remove it, but many people are unaware of what it is or why it’s harmful.

Overtime, plaque can build up on our teeth and cause bad breath and yellowing. Plaque is also associated with heart disease and dementia, so it’s really important we understand what it is, how to deal with it and how to avoid it.

What is Plaque?

Unless you’ve just brushed your teeth, you can probably feel the plaque in your mouth by running your tongue over your teeth. It’s a sticky film that constantly forms on your teeth and is made up of harmful bacteria.

Why is it Harmful?

In small doses, plaque won’t be harmful. However, if it is allowed to build up, whether this by skipping brushing or not flossing regularly, your immune system will be chronically activated, of which can lead to inflammation in the body. If you experience long-term inflammation, you will be prone to premature aging and disease.

How does Plaque form?

The bacteria in plaque feast on the sugars within your food. Then, they excrete acid, which leads to bad breath, tooth decay, enamel erosion and cavities.

But that’s not all. If plaque isn’t removed from our mouths within two days, it will begin to harden and calcify. Once this has happened, it is almost impossible to remove with floss and brushing. Once plaque has hardened, it is known as tartar. Gums can easily bleed as a result of tartar because they become so irritated and inflamed. This is often known as gingivitis and will require a dentists or hygienists help.

How is Plaque Removed?

If caught early on, plaque can be removed with regular brushing and flossing and it won’t cause any damage to our health. Those who don’t floss everyday will be leaving behind around 60% of plaque, which will harden into tartar.

You will need to visit the dentist or hygienist if tartar has formed.

How can I Prevent Plaque Build-up?

You can prevent plaque build-up by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, or after every meal. It is in its most fragile state and is easiest to remove within hours after eating.

You should also get your teeth professionally cleaned regularly. Whilst you may brush and floss consistently, some plaque build-up or tartar is inevitable.

Dr Denti disclosing tablets are ideal for combatting plaque build-up. These tablets show new plaque as red and old plaque as blue, allowing you to see exactly where you should focus your attention when brushing.

For more information about our products or to simply contact the GAP team, please visit our contact page or call us on 01474 560618.