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What Is Plaque And What Makes It So Bad?

Last updated 6 years ago

Everyone generally knows that brushing your teeth in the morning and before bed is the best way to keep those pearly whites…well, pearly white! But some people may not be putting this knowledge into action. A recent article from reports that about 70% of adults over 35 have some form of gum disease, which is primarily caused by plaque! But what exactly is plaque, and why is it so bad for you? Here’s some information to help you be proactive about plaque (your dentist will thank you for it!). 

Plaque is simply a thin coating of bacteria and sugar that forms on your teeth. It develops naturally when bacteria in your mouth (that are supposed to be there) grow by living on food particles and your saliva. Everyone develops plaque, but what’s important is what you do about the plaque that develops.

In general, plaque in small doses is relatively harmless. In theory, it can exist in your mouth untouched for 12 hours before the bacteria starts to do damage. But if left for longer periods of time, then the bacteria found in plaque can harden to form tartar and implant itself on your teeth. Dentists universally agree that plaque and tartar build up leads to cavities, tooth decay, and both types of gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis). These conditions can be very painful, and, if untreated, may require serious dental surgery to repair (not to mention cosmetic procedures or implants). 

If you’d like to learn more about the damage that plaque can cause to your smile or if you suspect that plaque has already taken its toll on your teeth, contact The Smile Design Center in Lutherville. Dr. Myron Kellner is one of the leading dentists in the Baltimore area, and specializes in oral sedation dentistry. This procedure is safe, painless, and ideal for those who require serious dental surgery or are simply a little squeamish during general procedures. Don’t wait! Visit our website for more information.


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