Preventive measures in dental treatment are intended to defend against the onset of disease. Patients of all ages benefit from preventive dental services that are designed to fend off periodontal disease, tooth sensitivity, cavities, and even oral infections.
Routine exams and professional cleanings before bacteria buildup will ensure a lifetime of excellent dental health. Though plaque and tartar are two different things, they have similar properties and tartar forms as a result of plaque buildup. Both are harmful to the teeth and gums and can be prevented through a good oral care routine and regular visit to the dentist.
Risks Associated with Tooth Plaque
Plaque is a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria that is constantly forming on the tooth’s surface. Though there are good and bad bacteria in the mouth, plaque produces acids that attack tooth enamel, damage gums, and create cavities. Excessive plaque buildup may also lead to periodontal disease which has been known to compromise the immune system. When plaque isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, it will mineralize into tartar.
Importance of Tartar Control
Tartar is a calcified plaque that only a dental professional is able to remove during a routine cleaning. If you don’t adequately brush and floss plaque away from the teeth, tartar will accumulate above the gum line and threaten the health of your teeth and bone structure surrounding the gums. Unlike plaque, which is a colorless film of bacteria, tartar is a mineral buildup that is yellow or brown in color. Tartar can also form underneath the gum line and irritate gum tissues, leading to gingivitis and potentially a more aggressive form of periodontal disease.
Once tartar has formed, only a dentist or a hygienist is able to remove it during a process called scaling. During a scaling, the dental professional will uses special instruments to remove the tartar above and below the gum line.
Preventive Oral Care Habits
Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis and is best prevented through a rigorous oral care routine that involves brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day, flossing at least once a day, as well as through these additional steps.
Regular dental visits – The American Dental Association recommends a dental cleaning every six months. During this appointment, your dentist or hygienist will pay special attention to plaque and tartar on the teeth, remove it accordingly, and assess the state of your teeth and gums through X-rays, and oral examination.
Fluoride treatments – Fluoride is nature’s cavity-fighter naturally found in soil, water, and foods. Fluoride treatments, as well as using fluoride-toothpaste, will prevent cavities in children and adults.
Eat healthily – Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods from each of the five food groups will reduce plaque and promote optimal oral health. These may consist of fruits, vegetables, protein foods, calcium-rich foods, and whole grains.
Multiple Sclerosis and Oral Health
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a lifelong disease that affects your brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in your eyes. It causes problems with muscle control, balance, and vision, along with other every day body functions. Motor function and coordination are heavily affected, with muscle weakness and spasticity making everyday tasks like holding a toothbrush near impossible. Problems with coordination and fatigue also make it difficult to keep up with proper dental care. All of these complications result in MS patients being at a higher risk for dental diseases. The disease itself affects the teeth and gums on a biochemical level, along with the medications used for treatment.
The Relationship Between Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Oral Health
There is a cause and effect relationship between MS and dental health. One of the main characteristics and symptoms of MS is heightened levels of inflammation. This happens as a result of the immune system deter…
In the United States alone every hour of every day someone loses their life to oral or oropharyngeal cancer. It is the cancer of the mouth and upper throat. Only forty percent of patients diagnosed will live longer than five years. Patients often end up suffering from facial disfigurement or trouble talking and eating. Its fatality is directly linked to its late-stage diagnosis. Dentists are often the first to identify oral cancer symptoms in patients, which is why offering oral cancer screenings is crucial. Early detection and prevention are key.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Dentists should provide their patients with information on the symptoms and indicators of oral cancer. If a patient has an abnormality in their mouth that does not improve or disappear after two to three weeks, they need to see a dental professional immediately. Urge your patients to perform self-checks and be vigilant of symptoms, such as: Sores or ulcers that do not heal with four…
The Dangers of Soda
Over the last few years, the consumption of soda by kids, teens, and young adults has increased dramatically. These days it seems like everybody prefers to drink things that are sugary and acidic. What is important to realize is that these drinks offer no benefits to oral health (or health in general). According to reports the average person drinks around 16 ounces of soda a day which equates to 53 gallons of soda a year. Consuming 53 gallons of liquids filled with acids and sugar will repeatedly expose teeth to sugar, fueling decay.
Harmfulness of Soda on your Teeth
Soda harms teeth by directly exposing them to acid and by feeding acid-producing bacteria. Erosion occurs when acid breaks down tooth enamel, leaving the sensitive dentin layer with less protection. This makes teeth more sensitive to hot and cold, resulting in frequent toothaches. The sugars in soda also allow bacteria to multiply and produce acid as their waste product. This acid gets trapped in plaque…