What is Dental Plaque?

 

dental plaque bacteriaAre you sure you want to know? Dental plaque is a sticky biofilm formed by bacteria that builds up on your teeth. When you look at it under a microscope, you will see multiple organisms swimming around, just like in the picture above.

In an unhealthy mouth, there will be larger numbers of organisms and more activity. You may also see red or white blood cells, which are signs of infection.

Cleaning your teeth removes the biofilm and limits the ability of bacteria to build colonies on your teeth. Your daily brushing and flossing is the first line of defense and your dental hygienist will take care of the areas where the plaque has calcified into tartar.

So, if you ever want to skip brushing your teeth or a visit to your dental hygienist, just picture all of those little bugs having a field day in your mouth.  Ewwww!

Ron Smith DDS – (865) 922-1613 Knoxville

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How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?

dental hygienist teeth cleaned

Every person’s oral health is unique and it is very important that you follow the recommendations of your dentist and hygienist. If your mouth is healthy and you brush and floss daily, having your teeth cleaned every 6 months should work well for you.

Your dentist may recommend you come in more often if you have an unusual situation or any of the following conditions:

  1. You smoke – Smoking puts you at risk for tooth loss, oral cancer, and periodontal gum disease.
  2. You have diabetes or heart disease – an unhealthy mouth can contribute to the advancement of these conditions and on the flip side they make you more prone to periodontal disease and it’s complications.
  3. You already have a history of periodontal disease – this chronic infection can impact your overall health putting you at a higher risk for life threatening diseases as well as tooth loss.
  4. You have an impaired ability to take care of your own teeth – Some people lack the dexterity or have disabilities that prevent them from brushing and flossing effectively.
  5. You are not brushing and flossing regularly – If you don’t take care of your oral health it is important to let your dentist and hygienist do it for you.

If you are due or over due for a visit to the dentist, please give us a call. We would love to help you enjoy the benefits of a healthy smile. 

Call (865) 922-1613  Knoxville, TN