Hidden and Not So Hidden Dangers of Plaque Buildup

Hidden and Not So Hidden Dangers of Plaque Buildup

The teeth are not just the bone hard instruments you utilize to chew your food. They are as complex as any organ inside your body. This is why it’s no necessary to not only brush and floss three times per day, but also to get twice yearly cleanings and dental checkups.

Tartar and plaque buildup can not only ruin your smile, but they can lead to mild problems like bad breath or other, more serious problems like gum disease, and rotting teeth that require painful extraction.

According to a new medical report concerning the dangers of plaque buildup and the importance of plaque removal, plaque is defined as the colorless, sticky layer of bacteria that over time can form on your teeth. This is why your teeth sometimes “feel fuzzy” when you run your tongue over them. The condition is most noticeable when your teeth are not properly brushed.

But there’s more to plaque buildup than meets the eye. It can be dangerous. Research concludes that inflammation and bacteria in your mouth are linked to other health issues, such as dementia and heart attack. In fact, plaque buildup can actually “jeopardize your overall health.” 

The Causes of Harmful Plaque Buildup

Plaque is said to thrive when the foods you eat, especially those containing carbohydrates like milk, raisins, cakes, soft drinks, candy, and more, are left on the teeth. The bacteria that normally lives inside your mouth (yes, your mouth is a living, breathing petri dish), are said to “thrive” on foods high in carbohydrates and as a result, they produce acids.

Given enough time, the acids will breakdown tooth enamel, and what results is tooth decay. Also, plaque can buildup beneath the gums on the teeth roots which can cause significant breakdown of the bone that naturally supports the tooth or teeth.

Excessive plaque buildup will inevitably result in gum disease. Gingivitis will develop first. The gums will get tender and often times begin to bleed. As times moves on, acute periodontal gum disease will take root.

This is a condition by which the gum tissue starts to pull away from the teeth, thereby allowing bad bacteria to sneak up on the underlying bone that supports strong and healthy teeth. 

Periodontal Disease and More

Woman is clutching her chest, acute pain possible heart attack

Dental research indicates that scientists have discovered direct links between periodontal disease and a variety of other medical problems. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Dementia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

To this day, dental experts are not absolutely sure about the genesis of the link between periodontal disease and other serious medical problems, but they do know that it has a lot to do with oral bacteria escaping and entering into the bloodstream. Once that happens, the bacteria is able to attack major organs.

Inflammation is also a common factor, or so the experts attest. The inflammation that comes with periodontal disease can increase inflammation throughout the entire body. Inflammation then becomes an “underlying problem” in other serious health issues like rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. 

The Gum Disease and Heart Disease Link

Studies prove that people who suffer from gum disease often suffer from bad heart health. All too often this leads to heart attacks, some of which can be fatal. Back in 2009, a paper on the link between gum disease and heart disease was published by American Academy of Periodontology and The American Journal of Cardiology.

Its overall recommendation was for cardiologists to thoroughly examine a patient’s gum disease issues. In turn, periodontists are strongly encouraged to question their patients about any family history of heart disease plus the state of their own heart health. 

The Gum Disease and Diabetes Link

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Say the experts, if you have an existing diabetes condition, chances are you will also develop gum disease. Inflammation might be the culprit in this scenario. Those with diabetes are simply more likely to develop medical problems, including serious gum disease. 

The Gum Disease and Dementia Link

Surprisingly, gum disease has been linked directly to dementia in later life. This is due to what researchers are calling a relationship with periodontal disease and mild cognitive impairment. These are memory issues that make everyday life much more difficult to cope with.

One study showed that people with serious gum disease scored lower on cognitive memory tests. 

The Periodontal Disease and RA Link


Medical experts say that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized as an autoimmune disease that’s marked by painful joints and inflammation. People with RA are more likely to get periodontal disease. They also have more missing teeth than healthy people who do not have RA.

Both conditions have chronic inflammation in common. A recent study has concluded however that once a patient had his or her gum disease treated, their RA experienced less swelling and pain.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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