Plaque and Tartar on Teeth
Alternate Names : Bacterial Plaque, Dental Calculus
The best way to understand the mechanism of plaque and tartar
retention on teeth is to think of plaque as sticky cement--a little like
old-fashioned library paste. But also think of this paste as loaded with
bacteria. This soft material gets everywhere in the mouth. It forms readily
on the surfaces of the teeth, between the teeth, in the crevices between the
gum tissue and the tooth surface, in the grooves and fissures on the biting
surfaces of the teeth, and even on the top surface of the tongue.
The longer plaque is allowed to set, the more difficult it is to
remove. In the early stages it can be brushed and flossed off the teeth.
Once it has set, it is called tartar or calculus. Tartar must be scraped off
the teeth by a dentist or dental hygienist.
What is the information for this topic?
The bacteria in plaque and tartar cause major problems. The
bacterial mass is held tightly to the tooth surface and quickly turns certain
foods, such as sugars and starches, into decay-producing acid. The acid
dissolves the tooth structure and causes cavities, which are also called dental caries.
bacterial mass also produces irritating substances, which cause gum and bone
disease, known as gingivitis and
Gum disease is the most significant reason for tooth loss in adults.
Following these recommendations will help prevent
cavities and gum diseases:
Use a soft toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Ask
your dental care professional to help teach you and your child how to brush
Floss at least twice a day. Be careful not to injure the gums when
Brush the top surface of the tongue lightly to reduce the white or gray
coating which naturally occurs there. This will help eliminate some of the
bacteria and helps prevent unpleasant breath.
Mouthwash is pleasant but doesn't really help as much as brushing. Ask
your healthcare professional for a recommendation.
Obtain specific oral care instructions from your dental healthcare
professional. There are many sources of free material to help you learn the
best way to brush and floss. Don't be afraid to ask questions.