The Sinister Side of Dental Plaque

excited woman with worried smileIf you enjoy the feeling of clean teeth, then you probably don’t need any additional motivation to clean the sticky plaque off of them whenever you feel it accumulating. Nevertheless, understanding what plaque is and the danger it poses might inspire you to take necessary steps to prevent its accumulation in the first place. Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, explains the source of dental plaque and why you shouldn’t wait until it’s noticeable before actively controlling it.

Small, but Powerful, Nuisances

Though it isn’t exactly common knowledge, you may be aware that your mouth houses over 600 different identifiable kinds of bacteria. When enough of them congregate, they form plaque from extracellular DNA to protect them from your mouth’s natural defenses, like saliva. With strength in their numbers, some of these germs can threaten your oral health with their metabolic processes. For instance, some convert the sugar from your meals into acid, which erodes your tooth enamel and renders your tooth vulnerable to tooth decay. Other oral bacteria can irritate your gum tissue, causing inflammation and gum recession that can progress into gum disease if not treated in time.

Control Plaque and Bacteria, for Your Smile’s Sake

Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day helps control your mouth’s bacterial population and the formation of plaque, reducing your risk of developing a dental disease. Also, attending your dental checkups and cleanings every six months or sooner can help clear your mouth of the plaque you may have missed, as well as plaque’s more stubborn form, tartar. If your oral health is especially at risk, then Dr. Leibowitz may recommend an antibacterial mouthwash for additional protection.


Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, a native New Yorker, has served patients and families from Astoria, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and all surrounding communities since opening his dental practice in 1991. To schedule an appointment at our Astoria dentist’s office, contact us by calling (718) 728-8320 today.