Did you know that according to the CDC, more than 1 in 4 adults in the USA suffer from some sort of dental disease? And one of the main causes of oral problems such as tartar, cavities, and gum disease is plaque formation.
Dental plaque is a complex bacterial formation that collects on dental surfaces over time. These bacteria release acids that can, over time, break down your tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Hardened or unremoved plaque is called tartar or calculus. If the plaque is left alone to develop into tartar, it becomes more difficult to remove.
Plaque and tartar can lead to these complications:
Maintaining good dental hygiene is the most effective way to prevent or get rid of dental plaque. Stick to the following oral practices to prevent plaque formation:
There could be instances when the plaque cannot be removed completely, especially in people with poor oral hygiene. In such cases, dentists use treatment methods such as:
Sealants are applied to the chewing areas of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. This also prevents plaque buildup.
A scalar is used during dental cleanups to remove tartar buildups. This device has a hook on the end that can be used to get rid of plaque and tartar from above and below the gums.
Introducing fluoride to the teeth not only makes the enamel strong but also protects it from cavities and infections, thereby reducing the chances of plaque buildup.
Medications to Prevent Xerostomia
Xerostomia or dry mouth could lead to plaque formation. Hence, medications to increase saliva production are an effective treatment to get rid of plaque.
Dental plaque can be prevented to an extent by observing good oral hygiene. But visiting your dentist regularly is the best way to make sure your teeth are healthy and plaque-free.
If you are troubled by plaque buildup or require dental checkups, we are here to help. Book an appointment with Dr. Douglas Vose by calling us at (507) 387-2255. Our clinic, Vose Family Dentistry, is located at 220 E Main St., Mankato, MN 56001.