Most adults know the importance of using a plaque removing toothpaste to help maintain a clean and healthy mouth, but why is plaque so harmful in the first place? if you're one of the many adults who have been curious about what plaque really us and how it affects our oral health; look no further. We have answered your questions for you!
Plaque: What is it?
Plaque is a colorless, sticky film of bacteria that forms on the tooth surface and along the gum margins. Plaque is made up of millions of bacteria and begins to form between 4 and 12 hours after brushing your teeth.
What Are The Dangers of Plaque?
Plaque is particularly dangerous because it is the root cause of most, if not all, oral diseases. Plaque will accumulate quickly, most often at the gumline. Furthermore, plaque will inevitably turn into tartar, which is a hard deposit of mineral plaque, within the first 24 to 72 hours. More often than not, you will have to rely on a dental professional to remove it.
If plaque and tartar are left untreated, you may experience any number of oral health issues including:
- Bad Breath
- Cavities (holes in tooth enamel)
- Gingivitis (inflamed, bleeding gums)
- Periodontitis (advanced form of gum disease leading to tooth decay)
There has even been a link found between periodontal disease and other body ailments, including heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and more. Though scientists aren't sure why this relationship exists, the general findings support this trend. These are just some of the many reasons why it is essential to regularly remove plaque.
The British Medical Journal and the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control) say that gingivitis and periodontitis are a public health epidemic. They say that up to 90% of all adults have gingivitis (gum inflammation and bleeding) which is reversible, and more that 47% of all American adults over 30 (almost 1 in 2 adults) have periodontal disease that requires surgical treatment to slow down it’s progression. There is no existing treatment available for periodontal disease.
How Do You Protect Yourself From Plaque Accumulation?
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth
- Floss daily to remove plaque from below your gumline and from between your teeth
- Avoid foods containing a lot of starch and sugar
- Schedule semi-annual dental visits to ensure you are maintaining proper oral hygiene
- Choose the most effective oral care products. See below for more details
While traditional toothpaste is commonly used, it is marginally effective. Friction caused by brushing is what actually removes the majority of plaque. However, there is a lot of research being conducted by companies and universities on how to improve the plaque removal process. Top research areas include whether there is way to repel bacteria from the tooth surface, as well as whether there is a way to dissolve the dental plaque (biofilm) that allows the bacteria to stick to each other and become toxic. Companies such as Livionex have made tremendous headway in the field. Livionex has introduced LIVFRESH Dental Gel, which attacks plaque on the molecular level and is clinically prove to remove plaque 250% better than the market leader.