Health > Dental Health > Dental plaque
What is plaque?
In the oral cavity, where it is warm and moist, there are micro-organisms (bacteria and mycelial fungi) that live on the sugar and other substances from food residues. Some of these micro-organisms form a coating on the teeth and in the interdental spaces: plaque. When sugar is present, the bacteria produce acids which so damage the teeth that caries develops. Plaque forms especially at the gum margins and in the interdental spaces - in other words, in those places that can hardly be reached with a toothbrush. Plaque cannot simply be rinsed off.
How do you recognise plaque?
If you run your tongue over your teeth you can recognise the plaque coating on dirty teeth. Plaque bacteria can lead to inflammation of the gums - healthy gums never bleed!
How can you stop plaque?
Very easily - by daily plaque removal. However, plaque can only be removed by mechanical means. Tablets or liquid revealers can be used to stain plaque so that it becomes visible and the places that still have to be cleaned can be more easily identified.
Plaque removal should be carried out with fluoride-containing preparations to start repair of the initial damage immediately and prevent further damage. Even when we remove plaque mechanically, it forms again within a few hours of cleaning the teeth - bacteria multiply rapidly!
Particular attention should be paid to the fact that frequent sweet between-meal snacks damage the teeth: the constant supply of sugar "feeds" the bacteria without a break, these produce acids all the time and the teeth no longer have the chance to recover or remineralise. It is therefore less harmful to the teeth if the same quantity of sugar is eaten in one go; after the acid attack there is a recovery phase with remineralisation from the saliva.