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What Is Plaque?

A thorough dental health care routine is vital to keep your mouth healthy. Every day, you must brush your teeth at least twice a day or after meals. Also, you need to floss daily to keep your gums in tip-top shape. 

For an excellent oral care routine, you might consider using a tongue scraper or finishing your routine by rinsing with mouthwash. Without brushing and flossing, you increase your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease.

While you may know the right steps for a proper oral care routine, you may not know the exact reason for it. The reason you need to constantly clean your mouth is because of plaque. 

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Defining Plaque

Plaque is the sticky white substance that clings to your teeth. When you eat, the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar and starch, which creates plaque. No matter how efficient your oral health care routine is, everyone has plaque on their teeth, making an oral routine essential. Plaque can continue to build and worsen, and eventually, it can turn into tartar if not removed properly. 

Tartar is a hardened form of plaque that can cause a series of problems for your teeth and gums. When tartar builds, it will create a separation between your teeth and gums, which leaves room for more plaque to form. This begins a problematic cycle that needs intervention. 

Tartar cannot be removed at home; it must be removed by a dental professional. It is far more convenient, cost-effective, and beneficial to remove plaque before it hardens and becomes tartar. 

Another reason plaque removal is vital is that prolonged exposure can create cavities. The bacteria in plaque create an acid that will slowly eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Enamel is the protective layer on the outside of your teeth that shelters the nerves and blood vessels inside the pulp.

Complications From Plaque

Regular brushing and flossing should keep your mouth happy and healthy. However, if you do not have a proper daily routine, it will lead to much more significant complications. 

Plaque can cause cavities, but those cavities can progress into advanced tooth decay. If you do not seek dental treatment to fill your cavity, it can burrow further into your tooth and the gums. This decay can create an infection in your tooth (an abscessed tooth) or in your gums (periodontitis). 

Severe infections may need a root canal in order to stop the spread and save your tooth. If the infection is bad enough, you may experience tooth loss. You should take infections in the mouth seriously and deal with them immediately. Without intervention, infections can travel to other organ systems through the bloodstream, which can be dangerous. 

Research states that gum disease is linked to heart disease. The same plaque that builds on your teeth is the same plaque that can build in your valves and arteries. Plaque buildup in your heart reduces blood flow and the efficiency of your heart’s ability to function.