THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DENTAL PLAGUE AND CARIES
August 27 2021
If you touch your tongue against the surface of your teeth after not brushing for a few days, you will notice that it feels fuzzy and sticky. Dental plaque is the most common cause of tooth decay and tooth loss. When otherwise healthy and physically robust individuals or even children begin to lose teeth, it is unnatural and not at all desired. Dental plaque is the sticky film on your teeth. Because the film is colorless, you won't be able to see anything, but you will undoubtedly feel it. It's not the same as having perfectly clean teeth.
How Plaque Forms
Before we get into the tips for removing plaque, it's vital to first understand how plaque arises. The bacteria in our mouth react to the foods we eat by producing acids. Plaque is formed when these acids combine with bacteria, food, and saliva to adhere to the teeth. Within minutes of eating, this occurs. If the acid is kept on for too long, it begins to attack the teeth, causing cavities. Dental caries is a microbial infection that affects the tooth's calcified structures, causing demineralization of the inorganic portion and dissolving of the organic portion. It's a dynamic process in which the balance between mineralization and demineralization shifts to demineralization's favor. This equilibrium is determined by a number of factors, including tooth structure, dental plaque, saliva, microorganisms, nutrition, and frequency of food ingestion.
Dental plaque is a crucial contributor in the development of dental caries. Dental plaque is a yellowish-white deposit or biofilm that occurs on teeth and other hard oral tissues. Bacterial colonies are mostly found in a matrix of exfoliated epithelial cells, bacterial, and salivary proteins. Aside from proteins, the matrix may also contain carbohydrates such as glucans, fructans, and other polysaccharides produced by bacteria, lipids, and inorganic elements such as calcium and phosphate. Physiological tongue movements, salivary flow, or water flushing will not eradicate dental plaque. It could, however, be eradicated by brushing your teeth.
Acquired pellicle development is the first step in the production of dental plaque. Acquired pellicle is a salivary glycoprotein coating that occurs on the surface of the tooth in a matter of seconds after tooth brushing. This salivary pellicle coating aids bacterial adhesion to the tooth by recognizing receptors that are recognized by bacterial molecules called adhesins. In dental plaque, these bacteria are known as main colonizers. Bacterial extracellular polysaccharides aid in the attachment of new bacteria to the plaque's existing germs. After then, secondary colonizers take over, and bacteria continue to multiply and cling to one another. Bacteria, their metabolites, cellular debris, and salivary proteins build up and create a plaque mass that continues to develop and mature.
Plaque And Its Influence on Dental Caries
When it came to plaque and its impact on dental caries, there were two schools of thought. The first was the "Non-Specific Plaque Hypothesis," whereas the second was the "Specific Plaque Hypothesis." According to the Non-Specific Plaque Hypothesis, the entire microbiota in plaque was harmful and was to blame for the disease. On the other side, the specific plaque theory suggested that only certain bacterial species in plaque were harmful. In 1994, however, Philip D. Marsh introduced the "Ecological Plaque hypothesis," in which he believed disease was caused by an ecological imbalance in the plaque microfloral population. Disease, according to his "Ecological Plaque Hypothesis," is caused by an imbalance in the overall microflora caused by environmental stress, resulting in an enrichment of some "oral pathogens" or disease-related microorganisms. The bacterial composition of plaque, once created, is diverse and varies depending on the location. Despite modest variations in environmental parameters such as salivary flow, nutrition, and host defense mechanisms, microbial homeostasis or balance is maintained between the many species of microbial community in the plaque. Plaque may also contain pathogenic bacteria that cause disease, however these bacteria are present in very minute amounts and are not enough to cause illness. A substantial environmental change or ecological shift, on the other hand, could cause an imbalance in the bacterial population, favoring pathogenic species' excessive development and survival, leading to diseases like dental caries.
In terms of caries, an excessive consumption of sugar in the form of fermentable carbohydrates, particularly sucrose, could cause a dramatic shift in homeostasis. Dental caries has been linked to Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus species. To meet its energy needs, Streptococcus mutans metabolizes the majority of sucrose and creates lactic acid. Sucrose is also used to make glucans and fructans, which are extracellular polysaccharides. Streptococcus mutans has an invertase enzyme that can break down sucrose into glucose and fructose. Streptococcus mutans transforms glucose and fructose to extracellular polysaccharides termed glucans and fructans, respectively, using another pair of enzymes called glucosyl transferase and fructosyl transferase. Fructans are easily soluble and can be exploited as a source of energy in the future. Glucans, on the other hand, are insoluble and aid in the adhesion and accumulation of more caries-causing streptococci. Glucan binding proteins are found in Streptococcus mutans, which aid in adherence. This rise in lactic acid may cause the immediate environment's pH to drop, making it extremely acidic. In such settings, caries-causing bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli species can flourish (aciduric) and reproduce, leading to a rise in population. They not only thrive, but they also create more acid, and this shift to an acidic environment boosts cariogenic bacterial population while decreasing non-cariogenic bacterial population, disrupting the bacterial community's balance or homeostasis.
Calcium and phosphate ions in the saliva now buffer and neutralize an increase in acidic environment locally within 30-60 minutes. When the pH falls below 5.5 (“critical pH”), the problem develops. Minerals from the saliva continue to move to the tooth-plaque interface in order to buffer the acidic environment. Saliva, on the other hand, begins to become mineral-deficient. hydroxy-apatite (HA) crystals from the tooth begin to dissolve and travel to the saliva to supply the mineral demand. When an acidic environment is removed, the saliva, which is now super-saturated in minerals, precipitates minerals back to the tooth, re-mineralizing it. If the acidic environment continues, HA crystals will breakdown, eventually leading to dental cavities and cavitation on the tooth surface.
How to Prevent Plaque Formation
Sugary, starchy, and sticky foods should be avoided or limited. Foods high in starch and sugar, such as bread, cakes, cookies, and milk, as well as sticky foods like raisins and chocolates, are particularly appealing to oral bacteria. When you eat these meals, they instantly go to work and produce a lot of acid, which is bad for your teeth. When you develop a toothache, it means the damage has progressed to the point of being serious. Prevention is always preferable to cure when it comes to dental cavities.
Brush your teeth with Fairywill products at least twice a day. Because plaque creation is a normal process that occurs every time you eat, brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a Fairywill electric tooth brush is essential to prevent plaque from hardening into tartar on your teeth. Tartar is plaque that has formed on the teeth. It is more harmful than plaque and can cause gum disease, gingivitis, and severe tooth decay. Brushing procedures are usually effective in removing plaque. Some places may be difficult to clean efficiently, causing plaque to thrive and provide a home ground for germs. This can be demonstrated by using a Fairywill electric brush instead of a manual brush. Over time, the collection hardens into soft plaque, a clay-like substance that absorbs additional plaque and adds to itself. In reality, improper/incorrect or no brushing is the most common and basic reason for dental plaque to form on one's teeth. Brushing your teeth is crucial and necessary for good dental health. Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is the only way to keep them in good repair. white and spotless Absence of brushing causes plaque to build up on your teeth over time, eventually hardening and binding with your teeth, making it extremely difficult to remove manually. No matter how frequently or thoroughly you brush your teeth, there are some areas where the brush's bristles simply cannot reach. Back molars, in between teeth, and close under the gum line are difficult to reach. Cleaning spots that a toothbrush can't reach is easier with a Fairywill water-flosser. If you don't floss on a regular basis, plaque will harden into tartar. Don't put off seeing a dentist until you have a toothache. As previously stated, the most basic and best strategy is to brush the teeth properly and regularly, as well as to visit the dentist on a regular basis.