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To avoid the deleterious effects of plaque on your pearly whites, there are steps you can take. Every day, you can brush and floss to reduce plaque formation. Plaque is that sticky bacterial film that coats your teeth and gums. You can feel it if you run your tongue along the back bottom of your teeth. It is that slightly rough surface. This bacterial film has the ability to slowly destroy tooth enamel. This pretty amazing really, as tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. So how exactly does plaque accomplish this?

Acids – because the mouth is home to colonies of bacteria, they feed on the sugars in the foods you eat and drink. If not removed every day by brushing and flossing, plaque will harden into tartar. This is why daily removal is crucial. Once plaque has hardened into tartar it requires scaling instruments to remove by a dental professional.

Decay – tooth decay arises as the tooth enamel is breached. The acid released by bacteria erodes the enamel until tiny holes appear. Next, the holes allow acid to reach the sensitive dentin layer beneath the enamel. Then, the erosion will reach the pulp of the tooth which houses blood vessels and nerves. The end result is pain when you bite down, tooth sensitivity or a toothache that won’t go away. At this stage, your body will fight the infection by creating an abscess (or a pocket of pus in the pulp) requiring a root canal.

You can avoid the effects of plaque by practicing prevention every day. Brush and floss daily, and keep those six month dental cleanings to remove tartar and make sure everything is running smoothly.

So if it is time for your next cleaning with Dr. Brandon Burger, please call our dental team in Hermitage, Tennessee at 615-889-8202 today. Your smile will thank you.