Dental plaque is a thin and sticky layer of bacteria that thrives on the surface of your teeth. You can’t taste it or see it at first, but if you don’t remove the plaque in time, it hardens into tartar and could cause one tooth cavities and decay.
Fact: We must not tar all bacteria with the same (tooth) brush. As a human, you carry around about 1,5 kg of bacteria in your body. Some are good, some are bad – like plaque.
There are more than 1 300 types of bacteria just in your tooth pockets but not all of them are bad. Some help to digest food and some fight bad bacteria. It’s the malicious plaque you need to target.
Problems caused by plaque
- The bacteria in plaque can weaken your tooth enamel, causing cavities.
- Buildup of plaque bacteria can cause inflammation and bleeding gums.
- Plaque and tartar can cause bad breath.
- Recent research indicates a correlation between plaque and cardiovascular diseases.
What causes plaque?
You probably heard this one since your first visit at the dentist: Avoid sugar! Do you have a sweet tooth? Well, so does plaque since it feasts on sugar. The bacterial degradation of fermentable sugar produces acid that could lead to tooth decay in the long run.
Fact: Did you know that 80 million bacteria are transferred during a french kiss?
Food high in acid can also accelerate plaque growth. But only when it comes in contact with your teeth and gum, so drinking a lime soda with a straw will not harm your teeth (even though the sugar might affect your health in other ways).
Who’s at greater risk? Dental experts has found at least three factors that increases the risk of plaque:
- Crowded teeth
- Dry mouth
How to get rid of plaque
We’ve already touched on avoiding food and drinks with sugar and acid. Regular tooth brushing and flossing are important measures to take.
But there is actually another trick for removing plaque that not everyone knows about. It’s green and will only take a few seconds of your day. Curios?