Your dental health is inextricably intertwined with your overall health. Dental abscesses can spread infection throughout your body. Toothaches and tooth loss can lead to malnutrition when you exclude certain foods from your diet because they are difficult to chew. Bacteria in your mouth can even lead to pneumonia and heart inflammation when they are inhaled into your lungs and make their way into your bloodstream.
Thus, a healthy mouth can help you maintain a healthy body. Here are some FAQs about oral health:
What is tooth plaque?
Most of us have experienced that sticky film on your teeth when you wake up in the morning. It wasn’t there when you went to sleep; in fact, you brushed your teeth before you went to bed and it seemed to just grow overnight. That is plaque, it did grow overnight, and its composition can seem a little bit disgusting.
Plaque is a biofilm consisting of bacteria and their byproducts. There are over 1000 different species of bacteria living in your mouth. When bacteria sit undisturbed in a dark, moist environment, such as your mouth, they metabolize, multiply, and build colonies. This colony development includes a slime layer to protect the colony from removal by physical action, such as chewing, and immune response. By weight, tooth plaque is about 90% water, 7% bacteria, and 3% sugars and proteins that give the slime layer its structure to hold the water and bacteria together.
How does plaque stick to teeth?
There are three primary ways that plaque sticks to teeth:
The tooth surface and bacteria in tooth plaque are both negatively charged. Calcium ions in saliva are positively charged. Calcium ions in saliva stick to the tooth surface and, in turn, bacteria stick to the calcium ions in the saliva. In essence, the calcium ions in saliva act as a magnet to hold the bacteria to the tooth surface.
The slime layer contains proteins and complex sugars produced by the metabolic processes of the bacteria. These sugars and proteins are sticky and adhere to teeth.
As bacteria grow and colonize, they develop fibrils, fusiforms, and filaments that link bacteria to one another and to the host teeth. These appendages are like scaffolding to hold the bacterial colony together and anchor it to teeth.
How does plaque affect teeth?
Plaque itself does not necessarily harm teeth. But the bacterial colonies protected by the plaque cause tooth decay. As bacteria metabolize carbohydrates stuck to the teeth, they not only produce the slime layer. They also produce acid that eats away the surface of the teeth. The bacteria and acid work their way further into the tooth, forming a cavity filled with more bacteria and more acid. If the plaque is not removed using a plaque removing toothpaste or plaque removing dental gel before it forms a cavity, the tooth will require a tooth filling or even extraction.
What is tartar?
Tartar is hardened plaque. Plaque inevitably turns into tartar after about 24 to 72 hours. Tartar can be thought of as another step in the bacterial colony's efforts to protect itself. Although the exact process that results in mineralization of the plaque is not exactly understood, there are two processes that are believed to contribute to tartar build-up:
Teeth are high in mineral content. It is thought that minerals released as the result of dental decay mineralize the dental plaque to form tartar.
Tartar tends to build up in areas of high saliva flow. It is possible that minerals in saliva are either attracted to the dental plaque, leading to mineralization, or used by bacteria in the dental plaque to mineralize the slime layer.
What are the options for removing plaque and tartar?
Twice-daily brushing with plaque removing dental gel and regular dental cleanings are the best way to keep plaque and tartar in check. Plaque removal dental gels work by breaking the electromagnetic bond between bacteria and teeth. Specifically, chelators in plaque removing dental gel and tartar removing dental gel eliminate the calcium ions that act as a magnet to hold bacteria to the tooth surface. Thus, plaque removing dental gel loosens the grip holding the bacteria to the teeth, allowing the brushing action to more effectively remove them.
LIVFRESH dental gel has been shown to clean teeth by removing plaque 250% better than a market leader. Double blind clinical studies at top US universities have shown that our dental gel improves teeth cleanliness in just weeks! LIVFRESH is free of harsh abrasives, parabens, and antimicrobials. Our dental gel was developed and is manufactured in the USA and is safe for all ages, including children and pregnant women.
Dental plaque is a highly complex bacterial structure that leads to tartar build up and dental decay. Removing dental plaque is essential to dental health. Contact us today to learn more.