When I had a badly decayed tooth extracted, I got a partial denture to fill in the gap. I didn't mind it at first, because I was just so happy to have my painful tooth out of my mouth. Over time, I began to get tired of taking it out at night. I asked my dentist if I was could get a dental implant, and he said that my gum disease did not make me a good candidate, but a fixed bridge may be a good option for me. I went with his suggestion, and I have no regrets. I love feeling like I have a real tooth again that I don't have to remove at night. I created this blog to remind other people with a missing tooth that they have many replacement options, and if one is not for you, then try another that may be right.
Dental plaque represents one of the greatest threats to healthy, long-lasting teeth. Yet many people fail to fully understand the role that plaque plays in tooth decay. If you would like to help protect your teeth by improving your knowledge of oral health, read on. This article will answer three common questions about dental plaque.
What is plaque?
Dental plaque is a soft, sticky, and nearly colorless substance that builds up on the surface of the teeth. Its base layer is composed of things like dead cells, saliva, and food particles. These provide the perfect breeding ground for the micro-organisms that make plaque such a destructive substance.
Contrary to popular understanding, plaque does not consist of simply one type of bacteria. Rather, it is made up of as many as 400 distinct species of mostly bacterial micro-organisms. The majority of these are relatively harmless. Yet when plaque is allowed to proliferate long enough, decay-causing strains of bacteria begin to predominate, eating away at the enamel on the surface of your teeth.
How soon after brushing does plaque begin to form?
The most straightforward answer here is that plaque begins forming more or less immediately after you're done brushing. Don't be too dismayed by that fact, though. You see, your saliva contains substances known as glycoproteins, which bind to the surface of your teeth and form a biofilm known as dental pellicle.
Pellicle in itself is relatively harmless. However, it provides a convenient point of attachment for harmful bacteria, which soon begin accumulating on your teeth. These bacteria continue to proliferate until the next time you brush. The longer plaque is allowed to persist, the greater the number of different bacteria that will begin to grow there.
What sorts of dental problems does plaque cause?
As dental plaque continues to build up, it undergoes changes in its composition. Because its deeper layers are protected for exposure to air, they become the home to a variety of anaeorobic bacteria. These bacteria break down dietary sugars, in the process producing acids. Such acids are at the root of the destructive power of plaque.
The most basic consequence of bacterially produced acids is demineralization of the enamel on the surface of your tooth. When the enamel has been eaten away deeply enough to expose the tender interior of the tooth, you've got a cavity. If such decay goes untreated long enough, you may end up with an infection of the pulp--a painful problem that often requires a root canal to correct.Share
4 November 2015