How Plaque Bacteria Cause Gum Disease?
Do you know that your mouth is considered home to more than 300 kinds of bacteria? Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? In fact, it’s perfectly normal. Only a small number of bacteria can cause gum disease or tooth decay.
Even a small amount of bacteria can stimulate the gums when your oral environment is good enough to form plaques. More importantly, it can lead to a range of problems – from bleeding or swelling of the gums, from gingivitis to more serious problems, such as periodontitis, and even tooth loss – if not checked.
Plaque bacteria and gum disease
Plaque bacteria are one of the most common causes of gum disease. Bacteria use sugar and carbohydrates in food to produce acids, which stimulate the gums and over time dissolve the enamel, leading to cavities. Toxins released by bacteria can also cause inflammation and damage to the gum tissue, causing your body to send more blood to the damaged area, which in turn can cause bleeding when you brush your teeth.
If you don’t brush and floss every day, plaque bacteria may eventually harden into tartar. It’s a kind of crusting substance, which gathers around the gum line and sticks to the teeth tightly, making it more difficult to keep the teeth clean.
At the same time, the presence of bacteria may cause the gums to start moving away from the teeth, leaving little space or “pockets” and even more plaque formation. Over time, these pockets may deepen, eventually weakening bones and tissues to support and protect your teeth.
Methods to prevent plaque bacteria from forming
It is very important to have a regular dental examination, which can help check the amount of plaque bacteria in the mouth and treat it before the problem worsens. If you have signs of periodontal disease, such as blood when brushing or flossing, you should also communicate with your dentist as soon as possible.
In addition to brushing your teeth regularly, there are other simple steps you can take to take care of your mouth to help control the amount of plaque bacteria that accumulates around your teeth and gums, and to help you step on the brakes during the gum disease journey.
- Use floss or interdental brush to remove plaque stuck in hard to reach places, such as between teeth.
- Use a small manual toothbrush or a soft, round toothbrush, and don’t forget to clean around the gum line.
- Mouthwash can inhibit the formation of dental plaque.
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