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If you ever see an ad on TV for toothpaste or any other oral health product, you’ve likely seen them tout their product as able to “combat plaque.” But a lot of people don’t know what plaque is, or why it needs to be combated in the first place.

So our team here at Justin Karrel DMD in Staunton, Virginia, put this post together to answer that exact question.

What is plaque?
Plaque is the buildup of food and drink residue on the surface of your teeth, and it’s a breeding ground for bacteria. Throughout your day, everything you eat or drink – even healthy foods – will generate some amount of plaque. That’s why it’s important to brush twice a day – to remove plaque from your teeth.

Why is it bad?

Plaque is a bacteria breeding ground, and if left on your teeth for longer than absolutely necessary it can begin to harden. When this happens, it’s referred to as tartar, and you can’t remove that at home. Tartar will eventually cause gingivitis and other gum disease related problems if it’s not treated.

So in short, the deal with plaque is that if you leave it on your teeth, you open them up to the possibility of contracting gingivitis or more serious gum disease problems, as well as cavities and severe tooth decay.

To schedule a cleaning with Dr. Justin Karrel or to get more information about plaque, call us today at 540-885-1631 .