Dental Plaque and Calculus

Teeth Cleaning Pasadena Texas

Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless film that continually forms in between and on the surface of the teeth. Dental plaque is a biofilm that is made up of microorganisms such as streptococcus mutans and other bacteria. It can develop on teeth above the gum line (supragingival), below the gum line on the roots of teeth (subgingival) and along the gum line (gingival).

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What Does Dental Plaque Buildup Lead To?

After eating a meal or snack, the bacteria in plaque release acids that attack the enamel surfaces of teeth, especially above and below the gum line and in between the teeth. Repetitive acid attacks increasingly erode the enamel, eventually causing tooth decay and cavities.

When plaque collects beneath the gum line, the associated buildup of bacteria and tartar can cause irritation and inflammation of the gum tissue and can lead to the development of gingivitis and gum disease. Irritated and inflamed gums appear red and may even bleed. Continued plaque accumulation can contribute to structural damage to your teeth and the bone supporting the teeth and gums, as well as other health complications.

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How Can You Remove Dental Plaque?

If your gums appear healthy — with no inflammation or redness — then twice daily brushing and proper daily flossing will break up the plaque that naturally accumulates on your teeth. However, Dr. Nugent recommends brushing three times a day to insure great dental health. Brushing with a fluoride-based toothpaste will help to remove plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing removes plaque between your teeth. If you notice that your gums are red and inflamed, or that they bleed after you brush your teeth, it is important that you call our Pasadena Dental Office.

Gingivitis and early periodontitis can be controlled by routine professional teeth cleanings and more diligent brushing and flossing at home. If Dr. Nugent or your Hygienist observes an excessive buildup of plaque and calculus below the gum line, then scaling and root planing may be necessary. This non-surgical procedure is used to remove plaque and calculus from around the roots of teeth and in the gum pockets.

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Helping to Prevent Dental Plaque Buildup

To prevent excessive plaque buildup in between visits to our office, keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • Brush your teeth twice (three times is better) daily using a fluoride-based toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth daily
  • Use a quality electric toothbrush
  • Avoid sugary and starchy snacks.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Refrain from using tobacco products.
  • Limit the number of snacks you eat throughout the day

Your gum tissue is as important as your teeth. If you are past due for a dental cleaning, call our office today at 713-941-8261. Or visit us at 3421 Burke Rd, Ste A, Pasadena, Texas 77504.

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