Everyone is taught that sugar is the worst thing for your teeth, but did you ever wonder why? The answer boils down to the two biggest culprits behind cavities and other dental problems. Those two are plaque and tartar. Proper oral care and biannual dental visits can help you keep them from impacting your smile. Learn more about what these are and your options for removing plaque and tartar from your teeth.
How Does Sugar Lead To Plaque?
Plaque is the bacteria-based biofilm that can develop on your teeth. At any given time, there are microscopic bacteria living in your mouth. These bacteria are attracted to sugars that get stuck on your teeth. You may think that you don’t need to worry because you haven’t had a candy bar or dessert lately. But the fact is that all breads and carbohydrates break down into sugars as well.
When these sugars are left on your teeth and bacteria gather to feed on them, plaque forms in your mouth. The main problem with plaque is that the bacteria it’s comprised of leaves behind acids that cause your teeth to decay. If not treated quickly, this decay can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.
Where Does Tartar Come From?
When plaque is left on the teeth long enough to harden, it becomes tartar. The most important thing to know about tartar is that it can typically only be removed with help from your dentist. A standard toothbrush and floss can’t remove tartar. Tartar causes a threat to your smile in multiple ways. Primarily, it acts as an enabler for plaque, providing it with more room to spread. Tartar also facilitates staining, which those who drink tea, coffee, and wine are especially vulnerable to.
Removing Plaque & Tartar
Removing plaque and tartar from your teeth is a top priority. With the right tools, training, and technology, our dental team at West Lakes Dentistry knows what to look for and how to remove your most hard-to-reach tartar.
Scaling and root planning is a procedure used to remove plaque and tartar all the way down to the gumline. This subgingival tartar is dangerous for your oral health, because it can create pockets in the gums and can lead to gingivitis. It’s vital to treat gingivitis at its earliest signs since it can progress into periodontitis and advanced periodontitis, which can eventually cause your teeth to fall out.
Preventing Plaque & Tartar
The most obvious way to prevent plaque is to keep up with proper brushing and flossing habits at home. This means brushing twice per day and flossing once to remove debris between the teeth. However, your dietary choices also play a major role in the amount of plaque that develops. Foods that are high in sugar like all breads and pastries, or acid like diet sodas, can quickly wreak havoc on your oral health.
Make An Appointment Today
The reason sugar is terrible for your teeth is because of plaque, and plaque becomes tartar which can cause even more severe problems for your smile. Don’t risk developing cavities and diseases like gingivitis when help is readily available. Let our talented team at West Lakes Dentistry put and end to your plaque problem. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment in our Mound or Chaska, MN office!