Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN
Growing up, children hear about the importance of dental hygiene from both parents and dentists. Even as an adult, you may receive a lecture from the dentist about proper oral health. Although the hype about brushing and flossing does not seem like a big deal, remaining diligent with your oral hygiene can protect your teeth against the threat of harmful bacteria. Bacteria can build-up into sticky plaque that erodes your tooth enamel and could result in tooth decay and gum disease. Your family dentists in Greeneville at Tusculum Dental Care educate patients regarding the scary truth about what is living inside your mouth and the dangers dental plaque poses to your oral health.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a biofilm that sticks to the surfaces of your teeth and is full of microorganisms. Regarding dental plaque, the microorganisms are harmful bacteria that remain after eating and drinking when not removed through brushing your teeth or using mouthwash. The Greeneville dentists near you at Tusculum Dental Care explain that plaque begins with the combination of bacteria and saliva. Bacteria in your mouth bind to the layer of saliva know as dental pellicle and then multiply and spread to other areas of your mouth. When avoided, the bacteria form microcolonies that secrete a coating called the slime layer, and then the colonies become more complex as they grow.
What happens if dental plaque remains on your teeth?
The best way of combating the development of plaque is through a regular oral health care regimen of brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings. If you fail to maintain good oral health, the plaque will feed on tiny food particles that remain after you eat and drink. The result is the erosion of your tooth enamel from the acids the bacteria secrete. When the plaque hardens from absorbing the minerals in your saliva, it hardens and becomes tartar, which is only removable by your dental hygienist at your leading dental office in Jonesborough, Tusculum Dental Care. No matter how hard you try to keep tartar at bay through brushing and flossing, tartar build-up is inevitable, which is why the American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist twice per year for regular checkups and cleanings.
What other oral health concerns can develop with the presence of plaque?
In addition to causing damage to the enamel of your teeth resulting in cavities, the presence of dental plaque can develop below your gumline. The knowledgeable dentists in Erwin near you at Tusculum Dental Care explains that eventually, the plaque and tartar may result in a bacterial infection, which is the cause of gum disease. Gum disease affects over half of the adult American population and carries symptoms of gum redness, inflammation, tenderness, or bleeding easily. When left untreated, gum disease can develop into periodontitis and increases your risk for tooth loss, jawbone deterioration, and heart disease because the harmful bacteria and plaque enter your bloodstream.
Why is good dental hygiene important for everyone?
The people who share information about the importance of brushing and flossing are right about the effects good oral hygiene can make in your oral health. Brushing your teeth a minimum of twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush should remove most of the harmful bacteria and plaque forming on your teeth. Also, flossing once a day helps in getting the bacteria and plaque in between your teeth and other hard to reach areas. Your professional dentist in Greeneville at Tusculum Dental Care advises patients to schedule an appointment for professional dental cleaning services so that the dental hygienist can remove the tartar with a unique tool. In addition to the deep cleaning, we can provide instructions about the safest and most effective products for at-home use.
General Dentist in Greeneville, Jonesborough, and Erwin, Tennessee
The presence of bacteria and plaque is inevitable for everyone. Whether they damage your teeth and gums depends on your preventative care practices. Neglecting your oral health will only result in pain and extensive expenses for additional treatments before the situation becomes life-threatening. If you need to schedule a checkup or cleaning, feel free to call your board-certified Jonesborough dentist at Tusculum Dental Care at (423) 639-7575 or schedule an appointment online today.