We often hear about periodontal disorders and periodontology, but we don’t always know what is behind this denomination. Things are simple. Periodontology deals with the treatment of diseases that affect the gums and other tissues that support the teeth, and the main causes behind these diseases are dental plaque and scale.
The dental plaque is that fine white or light yellow layer, which is formed on teeth after each meal. It is made up from food residues and bacteria which cannot be removed with a simple mouthwash. Dental plaque forms constantly on teeth, even after brushing and its removal is very important because if not removed, it accumulates and gets into scale, through mineralization.
Scale is a hard calcareous substance of light yellow or dark colour, which forms moist of the times at the gingival level. In time, scale accumulation leads to gingivitis and periodontitis, a very severe affection that can lead to tooth loss.
The first sign that teeth are affected by scale is gum inflammation and bleeding. When the inflammation reaches the bone level, the situation is far worse. If the gums bleed or you notice a yellow plaque on the teeth base, it is time for a dental consultation. It is possible for the gums to be already too swollen, a descaling accompanied by a professional brushing being required.
The bacteria from the dental plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel and erode it in time, especially at gum level, under them or between teeth and thus favouring the decays. At the same time, saliva cannot penetrate the accumulated dental plaque and cannot neutralize the acid produced by the bacteria.
In order to prevent dental plaque accumulation or remove it, it is necessary:
- To brush our teeth two or three time a day, especially after meals. The brushing must be made correctly (your dentist can explain exactly how you should brush your teeth) and the toothbrush needs to be changed every 3 months.
- To use an interdental toothbrush or dental floss at least once a day.
- To have a balanced diet and to avoid snacks and sweets between meals. Still, if we want to have a snack, food such as fruits, vegetables, cheese or yoghurt are best advised.
- To schedule regular visits to the dentist to remove deposits through descaling, professional brushing, airflow and finishing.
Dental plaque is very dangerous, but it can be easily removed within the first 48 hours before it starts to harden. After a week without brushing it solidifies and cannot be removed through brushing, which means a minimal dental hygiene keeps us away from any serious problems that may occur.