Bacterial plaque is a film that accumulates on your natural tooth and gum structures, as well as partial and full dentures in your mouth. These ‘biofilms’ can also stick to orthodontic appliances and retainers.
It is natural for these films to exist and accumulate in the mouth. They do, however, need to be mechanically brushed away on a daily basis. If they are not removed they become inhabited by nasty bacteria and are hardened into a substance popularly known as tartar.
This tartar must be professionally removed by your Hygienist (if you have natural teeth) or by your Denturist (if you have dentures). The same film, plaque and tartar that accumulates on natural teeth and gums do so on dentures as well.
These bacterial plaques, if not removed, can result in periodontal (gum) disease. Pockets in the gum structure form and fill up with bacteria and infection. This infection can spread throughout the body and has been linked to all kinds of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
What to do about it?
- keep your dentures and retainers (night guards etc.) clean by brushing them with a special electric denture brush daily.
- Keep your natural teeth and gums healthy by brushing them daily as well
- Visit your Dentist, Hygienist or Denturist for professional cleaning every six months.
- Replace your dentures every 5-7 years as they get porous and can more easily harbor these harmful bacteria.
Jim Harrison is a Denture Specialist with over 27 years of practice in the Collingwood area. He can be reached at 705-445-1121.