Public

Plaque & Periodontal Disease

SOME MISCONCEPTIONS

Modern dental research has discovered that the following cherished assumptions about oral home care are FALSE:

Toothbrushing is the best way to clean teeth.  You should brush after every meal.  You should brush the teeth the way they grow - up on the lower teeth and down on the upper teeth.  You should use a brush with hard natural bristles.  You must brush with toothpaste.  You should use a mouthwash.  You should have your teeth cleaned every six months. We know now that these approaches to oral hygiene are NOT effective methods of preventing decay and gum disease.

 

THE PROBLEM: PLAQUE

The primary cause of decay and the major cause of periodontal (gum and bone) disease is the inability to remove "plaque" from the teeth and from under the gum. Plaque (rhymes with attack) is a soft, tooth-colored film which adheres  to most of the tooth surface.  Plaque is present in every mouth, and thus, with very few exceptions, so are decay or gum and gum disease!

Plaque is formed from:

  • Bacteria of various types,
  • Food ... mostly sticky food, white sugar and white flour products
  • Minerals from the saliva…. these eventually cause plaque to harden and form tartar
  • Cells from the lining of the cheeks, tongue and gums.

To cause decay, the colonies of bacteria in plaque ferment food particles forming acid. This acid is strong enough to dissolve the calcium from the enamel (the outside surface of the crown of the tooth). This process makes the enamel surface accessible to further attach by decay-producing bacteria.

Plaque is also the primary cause of infection in the supporting structures of the teeth. These are the gums and the bone, as well as the fibers which attach them to the roots of the teeth. Within the plaque the bacteria and cells produce acid, enzymes, and toxins.  These cause ulceration of the gum lining (with bleeding), the tearing of the fibers, and infection in the gum and bone. The bone responds by dissolving, and the teeth lose their support. Plaque is difficult to see (unless stained), but often builds up so heavily that it can be seen as whitish mats on the teeth. It contributes to an unpleasant taste and odor in the mouth.  Plaque builds continuously and painlessly. No matter how well you brush, it is impossible to remove all the plaque from between your teeth and under the gum line. These areas are the breeding places for most tooth decay, gum and bone disease.

THE ANSWER

The best answer is The preventive approach: PLAQUE REMOVAL.   We can instruct you in learning a proven professional method that is designed to remove plaque from aft surfaces of the teeth, from between the teeth, the lip and tongue surfaces of the teeth, from the biting surfaces of the teeth, and from under the gum. As plaque reforms 24 hours after being cleaned from the tooth surface, plaque removal becomes a once-a-day procedure. The habit of daily home care must be developed. OUR EFFORTS AND YOURS ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT IN THE PREVENTION OF DECAY AND PERIODONTAL DISEASE.

Our program of prevention involves a succession of visits, during which we show you the techniques for plaque removal, supervise your progress, and if your home care presents special problems, teach you how to deal with them. Afterward, periodic supervision will help you refine your new skill.

You will learn, with the aid of a harmless dye, how to locate plaque. And using dental floss - the most effective device for reaching the "breeding places"- you'll learn how to remove it. You'll learn how to use the correct toothbrush effectively. Where necessary, You'll learn how 10 use additional materials and techniques. And you'll practice. And practice. Because we check your homework!

BENEFITS

  • A regular program of PREVENTIVE ORAL CARE that concentrates on removing plaque will give you:
  • A much lower cost for dental care
  • The prevention of most decay
  • Bright, clean teeth
  • A fresh, pleasant breath, even on awakening
  • Less anxiety about needing dental work
  • Pride in having good oral health
  • The prevention of new gum infection and bleeding

... and would you believe ... true happiness?

YOUR ORAL HEALTH IS A COOPERATIVE VENTURE BETWEEN THE DENTIST AND YOU

We're partners in this thing, you see. It is your incentive, however, which will produce the dramatic results which justify our pride in the preventive program.

WHAT YOU EAT

Since ordinary sugar (sucrose) and sugar-containing foods contribute to the formation of plaque and acids, a diet that limits the intake of sugars will help keep teeth and gums healthy. It is especially important to avoid constant snacking on sugar-containing foods. This applies particularly to young children because their teeth are most susceptible to decay. Regular, well-balanced, nutritious meals are an important part of preventing tooth disease and decay, as well as being one of the foundations of good health in general.

THE NASTIES (Contain Sugar)

  • Sucrose (table sugar)
  • Caramels and Milk Chocolates
  • Jellies, Jams, Honey
  • Dried Fruits (Sugared Figs. Raisins, Dates)
  • Malteds and Sweet Chocolate Drinks
  • Chewing Gum and Mints
  • Synthetic Orange "Drinks"
  • Colas and Other Beverages Sweetened with Sucrose
  • Peanut Butter
  • White Bread. Raisin Bread

THE SAFETIES (No Sugar, or "Safe" Sugar)

  • Saccharin and Sorbitol
  • Potato Chips and Corn Chips
  • Raw Vegetables (Cabbage, Lettuce, etc.)
  • Fresh Fruits and Fruit Juices
  • Popcorn
  • Sugarless Gum and Mints
  • Whole Milk and Skim Milk
  • Diet Colas and Other Diet Drinks
  • Peanuts
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • All Protein (Including Hamburgers, Cold Cuts, Franks)

Back to Top

For technical questions and comments regarding this website,
please contact the Webmaster.