What is Plaque and Oral Hygiene? How Does it Affect General Health?
Plaque is a bacterial build-up that forms on the teeth. It may be invisible unless it is highly concentrated. It forms from the bacteria in your mouth that are naturally occurring. These bacteria are part of the digestive process that starts in your mouth. These processes form acids and toxins that can create periodontal disease and decay. It is an overgrowth of normal bacteria and some more pathogenic bacteria. Brushing and flossing keep the bacteria and their by-products from building up on your teeth and causing damage to your teeth and gums.
There is a marked link between cardiovascular health, diabetes, and oral health. As your dental health providers, we will continually evaluate your periodontal health and how it relates to overall health. Our goal is not to scare you but alert you to the very real connection between oral health and general health.
Care for your oral hygiene for a better quality of general health
Your dental health is a partnership between our team and you. Good oral hygiene means keeping your mouth clean and free of bacteria and other problems. Obtaining and maintaining good oral hygiene requires daily brushing and flossing. It requires seeing your dentist and hygienist one to two times a year for dental cleanings. As good as you may be at brushing, a toothbrush will not always remove all the plaque build-up between your teeth. Good oral hygiene is necessary to advance your overall health and your oral health.
If you have underlying health conditions, keeping your mouth free of bacteria and plaque is especially important. For example, if you have diabetes, increased blood glucose levels mean you have more sugar in your saliva. Plaque can accumulate more easily on your teeth leading to gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities. Periodontal disease can also raise your blood sugar making your diabetic condition even more difficult to control. Regular visits to your hygienist can help improve your blood sugar control.
We will do everything we can during your appointment to make sure you know how to take care of your oral hygiene between visits. Contact our St. Joseph dental team or call us today for an appointment to learn how to take care of your oral hygiene and keep you moving toward health. (816) 233-0142.