The experience shows that plaque constitutes a big problem for many of our patients. Plaque is actually petrified pellicle, the appearance of which is enhanced by the bacteria existent in our mouth, the existence of organic components (rests of food) and the mineral salts subsistent in our saliva (calcium, phosphates and fluoride salts).
We can differentiate between the subgingival plaque and supragingival plaque. The subgingival type cannot be seen, but it exists and it exposes the periodontium to its destructive effect.
By applying the wrong tooth-washing method (horizontal brushing movements), we press the pellicle from the teeth underneath the gums, where there are ideal circumstances for the putrefactive bacteria: environment low in oxygen, protection from the neutralising effect of the saliva, and culture medium through the pellicle. The bacteria decompose this pellicle, creating an acid environment, and in these circumstances salts form a deposit in this organic net. And the plaque is ready! The salts harden this net; this is why it is called also calculus.
The plaque is like a coral reef, it tends to grow, once its foundation is ready. It is a vicious circle; the acid environment makes our gums to inflame. This inflammation appears as a swelling at first (acute process), the gums bleed, then if the process becomes cronic, they atrophy and retreat. The bone cannot defend itself too much longer either against these aggressive processes, as a result it decays under the gums, and if we continue not taking the plaque seriously, our teeth will loosen and we will end up losing them.
To avoid these unpleasant circumstances, we should wash our teeth properly 2-3 times a day, after meals, and if we detect any bleeding, we should contact our dentist!
The most frequent place for the plaque to appear is the backside surface of our lower front teeth, because this is the most difficult place to wash with toothbrush, and this is where the salivary ducts open, so this area is always soaked with saliva and they create an oxygen-free environment.
Some people are more prone to having plaque, they have plaque on almost every tooth surface and they reappear quickly after removal. In their case, but not only, it is highly recommended to have the plaque professionally removed every quarter year and to use special tooth care tools.