Dental plaque: Treatment & medicines
Dental plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums due to sugar and starch consumption. If not removed regularly, it can harden into tartar, leading to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Good oral hygiene habits are important to prevent plaque buildup and maintain a healthy smile.
What is the main cause of Dental plaque?
The main cause of dental plaque is bacteria that naturally reside in the mouth. When we consume sugary and starchy foods and drinks, the bacteria in our mouth feed on these substances and produce acids that can damage the teeth and gums. If the bacteria are not removed regularly through proper brushing and flossing, they can form a sticky film on the teeth called plaque. As the plaque buildup increases, it can harden into tartar, which is difficult to remove and can lead to oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Therefore, good oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing regularly can help prevent plaque buildup and maintain a healthy mouth.
Symptoms of Dental plaque
Dental plaque itself may not cause any noticeable symptoms, especially in its early stages. However, if plaque buildup is not removed, it can lead to various oral health problems, which can cause the following symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the color or texture of teeth
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Formation of cavities
how to diagnosis Dental plaque?
Dental plaque can be diagnosed by a dental professional during a routine dental exam using special instruments to check for the presence of plaque and tartar. The dentist may also use disclosing solution or X-rays to identify areas of plaque buildup. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are crucial for early detection and management of dental plaque and other oral health problems.
Treatment and Prevention for Dental plaque
- Brush and floss regularly: The most effective way to prevent dental plaque is to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time and floss at least once a day to remove plaque buildup.
- Use mouthwash: Mouthwash can help kill bacteria in the mouth and freshen your breath. Look for a mouthwash that contains fluoride and has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).
- Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help remove any plaque buildup that has accumulated on your teeth. Your dentist may also recommend fluoride treatments or other preventive measures to help protect your teeth from plaque.
- Avoid sugary and starchy foods: Sugary and starchy foods can contribute to plaque buildup. Try to limit your intake of these types of foods and focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet.
- Consider professional cleaning: If you have significant plaque buildup on your teeth, your dentist may recommend a professional cleaning to remove it. This may involve scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar from below the gumline.
Medicines For Dental plaque
There are several medications that can be used to treat dental plaque, including:
- Antibacterial mouthwash: Mouthwash containing chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride can be used to kill the bacteria that cause plaque.
- Fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride toothpaste helps to strengthen the enamel on the teeth, making it more resistant to plaque and tooth decay.
- Antibiotic gels: Topical antibiotics can be applied directly to the teeth and gums to kill bacteria and reduce plaque buildup.
- Tartar-control toothpaste: These toothpaste contain ingredients like zinc citrate, pyrophosphates, and triclosan that can help reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth.
- Dental floss: Regular use of dental floss can help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and along the gum line.
It is important to maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily, to prevent the buildup of dental plaque. If you have concerns about dental plaque, it is best to consult with a dentist or healthcare provider for personalized recommendations.