The mouth is a breeding zone for bacteria even if you have good oral hygiene. The bacteria in the mouth grows daily all the time and will eat away at the teeth as much as it possibly can. Keeping the mouth clean helps to prevent this and makes sure that the teeth remain strong and healthy throughout your lifetime.
Plaque is a sticky biofilm that coats the teeth entirely, above and below the gums. The substance grows in the mouth on a daily basis and eats away at the teeth. It is a very thin substance that can make it difficult to feel however you can be certain that it is there. If left unattended for a number of days you will be able to feel the plaque on the tooth’s surface which stops the teeth from feeling clean and smooth. Plaque is the biggest cause of tooth decay which is why they must be brushed twice daily to ensure that it is removed. Flossing will help to remove any plaque between the teeth and below the gum line.
The saliva in our mouths does more for us than you might think, and plays an important role in keeping the mouth clean. Saliva is used to flush the mouth of food and neutralise acids that eat away at the tooth’s enamel. As well as this it has antibacterial properties and is able to repair and restore the teeth. It is therefore important to make sure that the mouth is kept hydrated in order to allow the saliva to do what it does best. For those who suffer from dry mouth, often down to lack of water or the consumption of medications it is important to do what you can to keep the mouth wet. Increasing the amount of water you drink is first and foremost but there are also saliva increasing rinses and toothpastes available to.
As mentioned above plaque grows on the teeth at all times of the day, including while you sleep. Despite brushing your teeth before bed and consuming no foods or liquids the substance will continue to coat the teeth and eat away at them. Due to the mouth undergoing no activity at night it can become dry, especially if you sleep with your mouth open. This is why we often wake up with morning breath, a result of the bacteria in the mouth. Brushing your teeth before bed and first thing in the morning is therefore paramount for maintaining good oral hygiene.
Plaque can only be removed from the teeth through brushing and flossing. Failing to do either of them will cause the plaque to remain on the teeth and gradually build up. The toothbrush is great for removing plaque from the surfaces of the teeth but floss is needed for getting in between them and below the gum line. Remember the build up of plaque causes tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.
Tartar is the result of plaque that hasn’t been removed from the teeth properly. Over time plaque begins to calcify as minerals are picked up from the saliva causing it to harden. The build-up of tartar is usually most prominent on the backs of teeth as people can often neglect this area when brushing. It is so hard that brushing alone will not remove it from the teeth and an expert dentist will need to remove it for you.
The build-up of plaque below the gums can cause them to become irritated and inflamed. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease and can be treated easily in the early stages. The symptoms of Gingivitis include bleeding, sore and inflamed gums which will require correct brushing and flossing twice daily for two minutes. If left to get worse you can get a more severe infection where the gums begin to pull away from the teeth exposing parts of the teeth that shouldn’t be seen. This leaves more room for tartar build up and infections. It will also cause the teeth to become loose in the mouth and will eventually lead to the loss of tissues and bone. If this happen the teeth can no longer be supported and will eventually fall out.