Tag Archives: Dental plaque

Is Dental Plaque the Main Cause of Dental Caries?

Our mouth is constantly bathed in saliva and is exposed to the passage of food, the oral flora and many other stimuli considering the variety of objects that people put in their mouths such as cigarettes, pipes, hair-grips and so on. Nevertheless, our mouth has a remarkable ability to resist and adapt according to these stimulations. Our teeth are also exposed to the same factors and they can be covered wholly or in part by food debris, soft and hard deposits.

 

Dental Plaque, the main cause of Dental Caries

Dental Plaque is a soft but adherent deposit of bacteria and their products, which forms on all tooth surfaces and other objects in the mouth, for example; fillings or dentures. This Plaque formation is a natural, physiological process and is an example of a biofilm, which means it is not a haphazard collection of bacteria but a complex association of many different bacterial species living together in a single environment. For instance, a newborn baby’s mouth is sterile but within a few hours, microorganisms appear; mainly Streptococcus salivarius. By the time the baby had his/ her first tooth out, a complex flora is established.

 

Basically, Dental Plaque is scarcely visible in thin layers and it can be revealed only by the use of a Plaque-Disclosing Agent. In thick layers, it can be seen as yellowish or grey deposits which cannot be removed with mouthwashes or by irrigation but can be brushed off. It is usual to find it on areas which are difficult to reach by tooth brushing, for example; in between teeth or in severely crowded teeth. When Dental Plaque calcified or mineralized, it will become Dental Calculus or commonly known as Tartar. It is a ‘stony crust’ that forms on teeth and has long been associated with Gums Disease. Having said that; Dental Plaque is the main cause of dental caries.

 

Dental plaque (in red) visible through plaque disclosing agent

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

Dental calculus/ tartar

       

 

     

 

 

 

 

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How Is Plaque Detected?

Dental plaque will start forming at the hard to reach places, like at the gum line © smileplus.wordpress,com

In many cases, plaque is difficult for an individual to identify. Plaque can be removed at planned intervals by the dental hygienist or a dentist as part of an oral prophylaxis. However, because daily dental plaque removal is more effective, it is the individual – not the hygienist or the dentist – who is vital for preserving lifelong intact teeth. Therefore it is essential to know the sites in the mouth where tooth plaque tends to accumulate.
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What Are the Causes of Tartar on Human Teeth?

© worlddental.org

When you open your mouth while looking in the mirror, you noticed this crust-like thing stuck on the borders between your gums and teeth. No matter how hard you try, you cannot seem to remove it by yourself. This incrustation that forms on the teeth and gums is called teeth tartar, or known as dental calculus to the dental professionals. Continue reading

Plaque 101 Part 2

The following program, when followed nightly, can aid in the prevention of plaque, tooth decay and gum disease.

 

Dry brushing. The first step is brushing every tooth with a dry toothbrush at the gum crevice, both on the inside and on the outside of teeth. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and slide the bristles closest to the inside of the upper lip under the gum. Vibrate the brush, making sure the tips of the bristles rotate under the gums (rather like scrubbing the cuticle of a fingernail). Use about ten quick rotations of the brush per tooth, trying not to lift the brush at any point (it’s been found that a person invariably lifts the brush on the same teeth time after time, and those teeth never get the right amount of cleaning). On the inside of the front teeth, hold the brush like a lollipop, parallel to the teeth, and brush with the tip, making sure the bristles slip under the gum. If you want to make sure the bristles get under the gum, bite the brush gently and you’ll force the bristles up. Continue reading

Plaque 101 Part 1

Everyone’s feelings about their teeth are different; some people are better able or willing to follow a home care program than others. What we hope to do is give you a general description of how to remove plaque from your teeth at home. Without a doubt, the most effective way to learn the techniques is to have them demonstrated to you (ideally by your dentist or their assistant). All dentists prefer to have patients interested in prevention. It makes their job easier, and patients actively concerned with keeping their teeth healthy appreciate treatment more. Continue reading

How to avoid scaling and root planing scam

picture credit to dentalexcellence.co.nz

Scaling? Root planing ? These are everyday dental terms which sort of sound like something used in the field of engineering or construction. To a certain extent, there seems to be a muddle up of understanding about these two terms, what they are, and why they are even needed. This article aims to clear up the air of confusion.

Like nearly all dental problems it all originates from plaque. Plaque is a soft sticky bio-film formed by bacteria which is rather easily cleaned through the use thorough and proper tooth brushing habits. However, should plaque be allowed to build up (due to improper tooth brushing technique or total neglect of oral hygiene.) it may take up trace minerals in ordinary salivary and harden to form what is known as dental calculus, a tenacious solid mass which is nearly impossible to remove through tooth brushing. Without removal of these substances, you are opening the door to gum infection, tooth loss and even serious internal diseases.

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Toothbrushing for Babies

When should you start cleaning your baby’s teeth?

© Tubes N Tonsils

It is a good idea to start cleaning your baby’s mouth even before the eruption of his first deciduous tooth. You can simply wrap a gauze or a wet cloth around your finger and rub it gently over the gums and tongue. This will help remove the milk residue which is left on the tongue surface. Even before tooth eruption, bacteria is present in the baby’s mouth but it usually doesn’t harm the gums. But we cant decide for certain when the baby’s tooth is emerging from the gums. Therefore cleaning the baby’s mouth will protect the erupting tooth from being damaged by the bacteria. This will also make an easier transition into toothbrushing when the child grows. You will have to brush your baby’s teeth until he can hold a toothbrush on his own, which is at 5 to 7 years of age because his motor development has not completed.http://www.intelligentdental.com/category/baby-teeth-2/

The first deciduous teeth start to appear around 6 months of age but sometimes delayed until 15 to 18 months in some healthy babies. You will have to choose a suitable baby toothbrush to brush your baby’s teeth. In the early stages, toothpaste is not necessary because children tend to swallow the toothpaste. Toothpaste contains fluoride, a substance when ingested in large amounts will cause a condition known as fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is common in children between 1 to 4 years old because teeth development is rapid at this stage.

It is important to regularly clean your baby’s teeth. Brush the teeth gently on both the outside and inside surfaces. Just a few strokes of the will do. Vigorous brushing will damage the immature enamel of the baby teeth.Do it twice a day.

Here are some tips on how to make toothbrushing for babies easier, more affective and interesting:

1. Brush with the child

Stick a toothbrush into your mouth while teaching your child to brush his own teeth. Children love to imitate their parents. And once you get him to hold a toothbrush, teach him the proper way to brush and the appropriate amount and type of toothpaste to use.

2. Choose the right toothbrush

Your baby’s toothbrush should be appropriate with his age and is usually indicated on the packaging.Baby’s toothbrush should have soft bristles and a small head which allows to reach all parts of his mouth.The handle should be thick for a firm grip. Replace the toothbrush every 3 months or after the bristles have started to spread out. Find a toothbrush which looks appealing to the child, with conspicuous color, interesting shapes and animal prints.

3. Choose the appropriate toothpaste

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that fluoridated toothpaste should only be used on children above 2 years old. You should let your child use only a pea sized amount of paste each time he brushes and make sure he spits it out. Swallowing too much toothpaste over time can cause fluoride toxicity and dental fluorosis. Choose children’s toothpaste which comes in various yummy fruity flavors.

4. Make toothbrushing interesting

Children tend to throw tantrum or get cranky when asked to brush his teeth. You can tell a tooth story or bring his toys into the washroom to grab his attention. After all, children love stories and pampering!

Is it possible to reverse tooth decay?

©www.jyi.org

decayed teeth

Have a problem with tooth decay?  Tooth decay or otherwise called caries has been a vast predicament that affects most dentate people. According to the United States Surgeon General’s report, caries is stated to be the most common chronic childhood disease of children aged 5 to 17 years and is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.

How does our tooth get caries?

Tooth decay is a demineralization process of hard tissues in our mouth that are contributed by four major factors namely bacterial microorganism, sugar (carbohydrates), tooth surface and time. Without this four factors decay would not occur. A community of haphazard collection of bacteria on your tooth is called plaque.

This bio film of plaque is capable of fermenting carbohydrate substrates (sugars like sucrose and glucose) and producing acid causing the plaque pH to fall below 5 within 1-3 minutes. Repeated falls in pH results in demineralisation of tooth surface and leads to carious lesion formed.

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Relationship between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Coronary angiogram of a woman

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The number one cause of mortality in the United States since 1900 continues to be heart disease. And gum disease and heart disease appear to be related, thanks to several extensive studies in the early 2000s which suggested that people with gum disease (periodontal disease) were twice as likely to also have coronary artery disease, along with other heart-related health conditions. Both diseases are complex and share some of the same risk factors including smoking, genetics, increasing age and stress. While these studies have not definitively proven that gum disease causes heart disease, they have clearly shown that there is some correlation between the two. The understanding of this relationship and what to do about it is very important.    Continue reading

Oral Health in relation to Dental Decay and Gum Disease

oral healthWhat is Oral Health ?

Oral health encompasses the health of our oral cavity. Our oral cavity (mouth) consist of our teeth and oral mucosa mucosa (gums). The health of our teeth is commonly compromised by bacteria which causes dental decay. Dental Decay is a dynamic process and it occurs due to a combination of a bad diet, insufficient oral hygiene care and bacteria in our mouth.

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