Plaque is a sticky substance that is produced when you consume sugars and starches and do not brush your teeth immediately afterwards. Despite common belief, plaque is not yellow. Typically, it is quite colorless: clear to white, depending on the number of layers left stuck to your teeth. When you do not brush your teeth for several days, the plaque can harden and stick, making it impossible to remove with just a toothbrush. Unfortunately, that is not the only danger of plaque, as other dangers abound. Here are some other ways plaque attacks your teeth and gums and how fight back against plaque's unpleasant effects.
Other Dangers of Plaque Your Dentist May Warn You About
Plaque is sneaky. It can get underneath your gums and begin to dissolve the roots of your teeth or the bone surfaces into which the tooth roots are affixed. Plaque can also begin to rot, creating foul breath and gingivitis (an infection/ inflammation in your gums). This is why your dentist tells you that you should floss just as often as you brush; the floss gets the plaque out from under the gum lines thereby decreasing inflammation, chances of infection and tooth decay under the gum lines.
How to Fight Back When Plaque Has Already Taken Hold and Is Doing Damage
Getting on a regular brushing and flossing schedule can help reduce a lot of the plaque that builds up daily. It may even remove some of the trapped plaque from under the gum lines. Your dentist can prescribe a medicated mouthwash that may also help or suggest an over-the-counter mouthwash that attacks plaque and breaks it up before you brush and floss. Antiseptic mouthwashes may be necessary if the plaque has already caused gingivitis or other oral infections to begin. Some patients find it worthwhile to swish with hydrogen peroxide because it has antiseptic and bleaching properties, which can clean and whiten your teeth and kill the plaque germs causing gingivitis.
If none of these counter-attacks for plaque work, or if a combination of these counter-attack measures are just not enough to reverse the damage in your mouth, then the dentist may suggest a deep cleaning. The deep cleaning procedure requires the skills of a dentist and some tools that can get up under the gums, scraping and pulling the scrapings from your teeth down and out of the gum tissue surrounding your teeth. Because it is not a very comfortable process, this is reserved as a last resort, but it is quite effective at removing plaque layers.
For a dentist in your area, contact an office such as Pine Lake Dental Group.