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Dental hygiene is important not only to your smile, but also to the overall health of your body. Unfortunately many ignore the importance of dental hygiene and avoid talking about this topic. In this blog article we want to bring light into what plaque means for your dental hygiene and what you can do to avoid diseases related to plaque accumulation.

Dental plaque is a thin barrier (imperceptible to the naked eye), that forms on the teeth by the accumulation of bacteria. As studies published in the British medical journal BMJ suggest, this excess of plaque is related to premature deaths.

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Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analyzed 1390 adults periodically for 24 years (1985-2009). The conclusion of the study showed that 4% of them had died on average at age 60 (which is considered premature because the average life expectancy in this country is 73 years for women and 69 for men). What is even more interesting is that those who had died had their gum area covered with plaque. Even taking into account other factors such as socioeconomic status, smoking and dental visits, the relationship between the presence of plaque and premature death remained strong.

Plaque buildup can lead, over time, to gingivitis (inflammation and infection of the gums) and tooth loss. Previous studies have concluded that such inflammation is associated with at least five types of cancer.

To prevent the development of dental plaque, it is important to take the following steps:

– Purchase ¨disclosing tablets¨ at the pharmacy. These tablets come in different colors and will show you which areas of your teeth have more plaque. This is where you should pay special attention while brushing.

– Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day. Brushing is the most important at night.

– There are areas, particularly between the teeth that the brush does not reach. It is important to floss at least once a day to remove food particles that the brush can´t remove. Use it carefully to avoid hurting your gums.

– Use toothpaste with fluoride, which is an element that prevents cavities.

– To complete you cleaning process, choose a mouthwash that fights tartar, preferable those without alcohol.

– Visit your Los Angeles dentist twice a year.

Many people may think that these steps are not particularly effective in protecting someone from dying at an early age. However, these few step can make a big difference is your overall health. A healthy mouth is without a doubt a key to good health.