Meaning of Plaque

Dental plaque or plaque not only looks unsightly, it also promotes the development of tooth decay. Brushing your teeth every day is the only way to remove plaque sustainably.

  • Dental plaque develops continuously, even directly after brushing your teeth.
  • It is a bacterial coating that only becomes dangerous for the teeth at a certain stage.
  • The first group of bacteria is not yet harmful; it only becomes critical with the colonization of anaerobic bacteria.
  • Regular dental care and professional teeth cleaning by the dentist are the ways to keep the harmful deposits to a minimum.

What is the plaque on the teeth?

The human oral cavity is home to numerous microorganisms. Far from all of them are harmful, on the contrary. However, there are also bacteria that are more harmful to teeth. In this case, bacterial plaque develops, which results in inflammation of the gums , tooth decay or periodontitis.

What is the plaque on the teeth made of?

There are different names for plaque. Dental biofilm, dental plaque or plaque describes bacterial contamination on the tooth surface. The bacteria are wrapped in a layer of mucus made up of leftover food, saliva and bacterial substances, which in turn protect them from other external influences.

In the first time the coating does not affect the teeth. Only when more and more bacteria settle does it begin to become critical for the teeth. Some bacteria produce lactic acid, among other things. Lactic acid removes the necessary minerals from the tooth, which in turn leads to tooth decay.

The amount of acids produced depends on two factors: on the one hand on the type of bacteria, on the other hand on how much sugar is in the mouth. Bacteria convert the sugar into acid. The toxins excreted by the bacteria lead to inflammation of the gums.

Regular and thorough teeth cleaning helps remove the plaque. Unfortunately, there are places in the teeth that are more difficult to clean and therefore more susceptible. These include

  • Interdental spaces
  • Gingival margin
  • Edges of fillings and crowns
  • Dimples of teeth

How does the coating form?

There is no real remedy for plaque. It forms again immediately even after brushing your teeth. Saliva gets to the teeth and leads to the formation of a protein-containing layer, the pellicle. It takes three to six hours for the first bacteria to colonize again. These bacteria only release carbon dioxide and water. Both substances are not yet a problem for the teeth.

If this coating is not removed, other bacteria will be added. A multi-layer settlement is the result. The thicker the surface, the lower the oxygen content in the lower layers. Anaerobic bacteria feel good in the bottom layer. These are bacteria that do not need oxygen.

Anaerobic bacteria, on the other hand, are dangerous for the teeth. They produce acids that attack tooth enamel. Since this in turn leads to a disease, tooth decay, we speak in this case of a pathogenic film, a disease-causing coating.

What are the consequences of dental plaque?

The consequences of dental plaque are visible at some point. Coating leads to tooth decay and inflammation of the gums. Strictly speaking, it forms the basis for almost all oral diseases.

How can you prevent and remove deposits?

The simplest formula for removing plaque is regular dental care. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth after every meal. Dental floss helps remove the finest bits of food or debris from between your teeth. An oral irrigator also ensures that no plaque collects between the teeth. The possibilities of ensuring optimal dental hygiene yourself are definitely more advanced today than they were in the days when there was only the classic manual toothbrush. The first step is to use an electric toothbrush, as it already cleans with rotations and vibrations that cannot be carried out to this extent by the hand.

If you really want to protect your teeth against tooth decay and your gums against inflammation, you should have a professional teeth cleaning once or twice a year . It is annoying and hard to understand that the costs for this are not covered by the statutory health insurance . Private dental supplementary insurances offer cost coverage in different amounts.

Regular professional tooth cleaning protects against diseases of the gums and against tooth decay over the years. Obviously, the costs for caries or gum treatment are lower for health insurances than for professional teeth cleaning. There is no other explanation for the fact that this basic dental prophylaxis is not reimbursed.

Meaning of Plaque