The basic cause of all tooth decay is plaque and tartar. A combination of bacteria, food particles, and saliva collect on teeth causing the formation of plaque, particularly at the gum line. If plaque is left for extended periods on the surface of the tooth, it will harden into a cement-like substance called tartar requiring removal by our Manhattan Beach Dentist Office. Bacteria that are found in plaque and tartar create acidic byproducts that lead to cavities by eating through healthy tooth enamel.
How to Prevent Plaque and Tartar Buildup
Diligent oral hygiene is the best way to slow the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. As you brush and floss you also remove a good percentage of plaque from your teeth, preventing the buildup of tartar. The bacteria that causes teeth to decay thrives on any sugar that lingers on the teeth, so obviously avoiding sugary foods will help reduce the buildup of plaque.
Regular visits to your dentist are vital to the successful management of plaque and tartar buildup. Your dental hygienist will provide a thorough dental cleaning designed to remove the plaque and tartar that routine brushing and flossing might leave behind. During the same visit, your dentist can also monitor changes to your teeth, using x-rays or digital imaging that will reveal decay in your teeth before it becomes a serious problem.
Treatment for Plaque and Tartar Buildup
Once you have a buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth, it can only be removed by your dentist. Our Manhattan Beach, California Dentist uses tools designed specifically for the removal of plaque and tartar. These dental tools are more effective than a toothbrush at removing stubborn buildups, and will also help prevent decay from developing.
Aside from tooth decay, a severe plaque buildup can lead to periodontal, or gum, disease. The Bacteria that remains under the gum line can lead to a more serious infection in the gums, gingivitis. Left untreated, severe infection can occur which will require antibiotics to restore your oral and general health.