Understanding The Relation Between Plaque, Bacteria And Gum Disease

gum disease treatment

Our teeth are responsible for helping us break down our food, pronounce our words right, and enhance our facial expressions. It’s only appropriate that we be responsible for taking care of them to the best of our ability. This involves brushing and flossing twice a day, following a healthy diet and visiting the dentist for regular check-ups. Failure to do so can not only cause plaque and bacteria to build up and force tooth enamel to dissolve but also increase the risk of cavity formation and eventually lead to gum disease. 

Warning Signs

Healthy gums don’t bleed, so if you see blood in the sink after brushing your teeth, it’s a clear signal that plaque has begun to build up. Plaque is a soft, sticky film that forms on the surface and in between your teeth that contains several million bacteria.   Although most of the bacteria present work to protect your mouth, there are also harmful bacteria present. The good germs decrease the risk of dry mouth, cavities and gum problems by producing proteins that control the unnecessary growth of bad bacteria. In order to prevent an overgrowth of bad bacteria that can also cause bad breath, gum inflammation, gingivitis, and periodontal disease, it is imperative that you follow a healthy diet and proper oral hygiene.

Brush and Floss Regularly

According to research, plaque begins to harden within 24 to 36 hours, which is why in order to keep our teeth clean and healthy, dental professionals advise everyone to brush after each meal with flossing as an optional add on.  While the more common notion is to brush before you floss, more and more dentists agree that flossing before brushing releases leftover food, plaque and bacteria so they can be removed easily with a toothbrush. 

Wrap both ends of a 12 to 18-inch piece of floss and gently move it in an up and down motion around the sides of each tooth. Afterward, put a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on your soft-bristled toothbrush held at a 45-degree angle and carefully move it across each tooth in a circular motion for a full two minutes. Use a mouthwash to further strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay.

Routine Dental Visits

If you are confronted with symptoms of gum disease such as constant bad breath, swollen gums or a receding gum line, visit a dentist or periodontist immediately. During the consultation, the dental professional will further investigate your gums for any showings of pockets around the teeth and request an x-ray if they are concerned about any bone loss.

Eat Healthily

What you consume on a daily basis not only affects your body’s general health but also reflects on the condition of your gums and teeth. The first step to prevent gum disease is to control the bad bacteria in your mouth, and you can do that by limiting the amount of sugar you ingest. Choose foods enriched with nutrients so they can assist the tissues in your mouth to fight infection. Also, refrain from consuming-sugar-filled sodas, sweetened drinks, and non-nutritious snacks such as cookies and crisps that increase acid concentration in your oral cavity. 

Plaque is a sticky film, mainly composed of bacteria that can build up if not removed through daily brushing and regular dental visits and can eventually lead to gum disease. Even at a small age, we are advised to take care of teeth on a regular basis, usually involving regular brushing and frequent flossing. As we get older, it is even more important to maintain a proper dental routine to keep our gums healthy and reduce the risk of periodontal (gum) disease.


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