There are hundreds of unique bacteria in the human mouth, but not all of them are harmful. However, some bacteria can stick to the gums and teeth leading to dental plaque. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, biofilm that builds up on tooth enamel because of many bacteria in the mouth. The combination of bacteria, saliva, and food particles produces dental plaque, which when left uncontrolled can cause infection to the gums and teeth. Dentists advise that individuals should observe a thorough daily oral hygiene regimen to control plaque. Here are some top facts about the dental plaque that beginners should know. 

How Plaque Forms -- The enamel, which is the outermost layer of a tooth, is covered by another invisible protein layer called the pellicle. Bacteria stick to the pellicle layer to form a colony in a matter of minutes, especially after eating. The sugars present in saliva, fluids, and food are broken down by the bacterial colonies to form the sticky substance referred to as dental plaque.

The relationship between Plaque and Tartar -- Sometimes, people might ignore to brush or floss their teeth as recommended by a dentist. The result is that after two days, plaque will start to harden or calcify on the teeth to form tartar. Tartar presents itself as a brown or yellow stain to the gums or teeth. As an upshot of plaque, tartar can lead to serious dental problems such as gum disease and cavities as it thrives in places affected by dental plaque. Moreover, tartar can dent people's self-esteem because the staining prevents individuals from having a perfect smile. Unlike plaque that can be controlled through brushing and flossing, tartar can only be removed by a dental hygienist using special instruments in a process called scaling.      

Effects of Plaque -- Acids that are produced by bacterial colonies attack teeth enamel. Therefore, plaque, if left to its own devices, is a precursor to gum disease and tooth decay, which eventually leads to tooth loss. Gum disease is a painless condition that most people ignore until they are on the brink of losing a couple of teeth. Over time, when tooth plaque invades the gum line, it infects the pockets between gums and teeth. Therefore, you should know that there is a strong linkage between plaque and other dental diseases. 

Is there a Cure for Plaque? -- Unfortunately, plaque accumulation has no cure, and that's why dentists recommend that the best bet against it is proper oral hygiene. It might sound like a cliché, but flossing and brushing your teeth at least twice a day can help keep plaque at bay. Also, make sure that you consult your dentist at least twice a year. The key is to control the buildup of harmful microbes on your teeth and gums.

For more information, contact companies like Melrose Dental.