June 14, 2024


Plaque is something not unknown to all. It is the very bacteria that toothpaste or mouthwash commercials promise to help you fight off. It is a common condition that is present in a vast majority of people. Plaque is a sticky and colourless layer, composed of bacteria that is formed on teeth. If left unattended, it can aggravate into forming serious cavities or other gum diseases. It may begin as a harmless menace and remain dormant until it is late and painful. Picture the sticky film that coats your teeth as you wake up. It is a common phenomenon, but it is necessary to keep it at bay. Read along to find out interesting insights on the condition.

How is Plaque Formed?

Our mouths in general, have bacteria that can collect on the teeth gradually. It is normal and common, to have plaque on your teeth until it is not treated or dealt with. Consuming sugary food items or carbohydrates can feed the plaque on your teeth. It forms throughout the day as you consume sugars or starches and leave them be. The bacteria will get their meal and produce acids. Plaque is also known as a ‘biofilm’. The intriguing reason behind the name is that it’s composed of a group of microbes, surrounded by a polymer layer. The layer is sticky and attaches the microbes to the surface of the mouth, leaving them to grow into microbe colonies.

This is why it is advised to always brush after meals. Generally, plaque is colourless and so undetectable. Run your tongue through your mouth, and if you can feel a coating for your teeth, then that is plaque.

How Does Plaque Affect Health?

A plaque left untreated can call for serious consequences. The remains can penetrate the tooth enamel or tooth pulp. Once the pulp is exposed, it can lead to bacterial infection that can be painful.

It can also harden and turn into tartar. It is a build-up of minerals that gets visible if above the gum line. Unlike the plaque, which may not be detectable, tartar stains will be visible. It will be yellow or brown, unpleasant enough to notice. Along with the disturbing looks, it could irritate your gums leading to serious concerns. Certain products like caffeine, or smoking habits, can make the tartar look darker. Treating tartar would need professional help, so seek dental advice to treat it. They would do an efficient cleaning process and get rid of the tartar for you.

Symptoms of Plaque

A common feeling of fuzziness in your teeth can indicate plaque. In addition to that, having red-coloured or swollen gums that bleed while brushing, can also be indicative of the condition. Experiencing bad breath or halitosis can mean underlying plaque that does not go away. Bad breath causes can be varied, but a foul smell can generally be due to the condition.

How to Fight Plaque?

Fighting plaque begins with the traditional practice of brushing properly. Inculcate a habit of brushing at least twice a day. Using floss to remove the remains from your gum line and teeth could also prevent aggravations. Keep the consumption of high-sugar foods or soft beverages in control. Visit a dental professional at least twice a year for hygienic cleanings or other oral examinations. The doctors could also recommend dry mouth treatments or prescribe unique toothpaste or mouthwashes.

Wrapping up

As an overview, having dental plaque is a common condition, but it can be controlled. With proper oral maintenance and hygiene, such issues can be prevented to a good extent. If any dental concerns are developed, don’t wait for it to get serious to get a checkup. Maintain a balanced diet and lifestyle and use good anti-bacterial mouthwashes and toothpaste that can penetrate deep and leave your mouth feeling fresh and healthy.