What is plaque made of

Plaque dangerous dental plaque

Plaque is a whitish plaque that cannot be rinsed off and can only be removed with a toothbrush or floss. The biofilm on the teeth is created especially in areas that are difficult to access. It consists of saliva components, food residues and bacteria. The plaque is the cause of the development of tooth decay and periodontal disease. A dangerous plaque forms within 24 hours and initially causes inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). Above all, the streptococcal bacteria contained in the plaque convert sugar (from foods containing sugar) into acids, which decalcify the tooth surfaces and thus lead to the formation of caries. It comes to putrefactive decay of the tooth substance lying under the plaque and thus to a carious defect. The dentist has to remove such caries foci and close the holes. In the course of time, the plaque is enriched with calcium salts and tartar, in which acid-producing and therefore tooth-damaging bacteria are located. Bad breath is also due to bacterial plaque.

Plaque stained

Colorants, e.g. B. in tablet form, make the plaque, which is usually invisible to the naked eye, visible. Due to the size and extent of the covering, oral hygiene at home can be improved in critical areas by using other cleaning techniques or care products.

Oral irrigator useless against plaque

The oral irrigator is only an additional aid for oral hygiene and removes food residues or already detached plaque after brushing your teeth; especially from between the teeth or under fixed dentures. Firmly adhering plaque - i.e. plaque - cannot be removed with the oral irrigator; the irrigator is therefore less efficient than many lay people believe.

Tartar fossilized plaque

Tartar is ultimately hardened plaque, which can then only be removed by the dentist with a scraper or ultrasound. Tartar is formed from bacterial plaque that hardens due to the accumulation of minerals in the saliva. The rough surface favors further plaque deposits and is thus involved in the development of inflammation of the gums.

Gum shrinkage due to plaque

The inflammation of the tooth bed, periodontitis, is often heralded by gum disease. Usually this symptom is not perceived as such. Even the first signs such as reddened, swollen or bleeding gums are hardly noticed. The cause of inflammation of the gums is usually bacterial deposits - i.e. plaque. The dangerous plaque settles between the tooth and the gum and causes tissue breakdown around the tooth. The common consequence: the loss of the tooth. To prevent this, thorough professional dental care is necessary.

Whole foods and tea can starve plaque bacteria

If you want to keep your own teeth for as long as possible, you should take good care of them, go to the dentist regularly for preventive care and eat a healthy diet. A tooth-healthy diet means whole foods rich in fiber, lots of fruit and vegetables, and few sweets. The ingredients polyphenols and flavonoids are the reason for the amazing effects of black tea on dental health. In the mouth, they inhibit the conversion of starch into glucose, which the plaque bacteria use as a nutritional basis for the production of tooth-damaging acids. Black tea also stops the bacterial enzyme glucosyltransferase, which turns sugar into the sticky matrix that makes plaque stick to the tooth. Last but not least, the popular drink contains the tannin catechin. This intervenes in the metabolism of the caries bacterium Streptococcus mutans and practically starves it.

Fluoride shield against plaque

Fluoride offers protection against tooth decay by making the tooth (enamel and dentin) more acid-resistant. Tooth decay is the result of exposure to organic acids, especially lactic acid. This is formed in plaque from sugar, which is used as food for the bacteria that occur there (especially mutans streptococci). Basically, you could prevent tooth decay by either not consuming any sugar at all or by regularly performing perfect plaque removal as part of oral hygiene. Both of these have proven unrealistic in the past. The annual per capita consumption of sugar in Germany has remained unchanged for many years at approx. 35 kg and the oral hygiene of Germans is clearly in need of improvement according to the latest population-representative studies. Since the prevention of caries by combating the actual causes, namely plaque and sugar, is theoretically possible, but hardly feasible in practice, the use of fluorides is indispensable if one wants to contain caries.

Plaque formation and consequences - video in English