Why Is Dental Plaque a Problem?
Dental plaque builds up on the surface of everyone’s teeth over the course of the day and consists mainly of bacteria. This biofilm is responsible for the formation of cavities and periodontal disease. Recent surveys have found that nearly a quarter of adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay while more than a third have a moderate to severe periodontitis or gum disease. The figures are even worse for older people, rising to approximately 64% for those aged over 65.
Methods for Controlling Dental Plaque
Methods for controlling dental plaque levels include brushing and flossing as well as the use of antimicrobial mouthwash containing ingredients such as chlorhexidine which can help kill off plaque bacteria. One of the problems with chlorhexidine is that it can stain teeth and may affect a person’s sense of taste. As such it is often not able to be used in the longer term. Needless to say, researchers have been looking into other ways of controlling plaque, and have found a common amino acid called arginine is able to break down dental plaque.
How Arginine Helps
At the moment researchers aren’t quite sure how the amino acid can help break down dental plaque, but it seems as if it changes the way cells stick together and may cause bacteria in plaque biofilms to alter their behavior so they no longer stick to tooth surfaces.
Arginine is found in poultry, red meat, fish and dairy products and it’s already in use in dental products created to help combat tooth sensitivity. Research is now being carried out to verify the findings of researchers at Newcastle University and the University of Michigan, and it’s hoped that in the future this amino acid could take the place of substances such as chlorhexidine and other types of antimicrobials.
Keeping Your Plaque Levels Low
In the meantime, it is vital that you try to keep your teeth as clean as possible, reducing any dental plaque biofilms that builds up over tooth surfaces. The best way to do this is through regular brushing and flossing, but it’s also important to visit your dentist at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center Brooklyn at regular intervals. This is because just about everyone misses out certain areas in the mouth and as a result the plaque biofilm can quickly harden into tartar. This can occur within just a couple of days and tartar can only be removed by being scaled or scraped off the teeth. Regular hygiene appointments will enable us to scale and polish your teeth, reducing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Ask Us for Advice on How to Brush and Floss More Effectively
Have you improved your brushing technique since you first learned how to brush your teeth as a child? Most of us tend to stick to old routines, regardless of whether they are effective. Our dental team can help you improve your daily brushing technique so you make sure to brush every single tooth surface. We are almost certain we can help improve the way you floss, making this essential task quick and effective.
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