Why is tartar dangerous and why is it harmful to eat at night

Health Tips

The link between plaque and late snacking

“Many people love nighttime snacking, which affects not only the figure, but also the teeth. Everyone knows that dental health is affected by the quality of oral hygiene, but few people take into account that food and meal times also affect dental health. Even if you don’t have sweet, starchy and fatty foods at all in your diet, and you have exceptionally healthy snacks at night. The condition of the teeth worsens because less saliva is secreted in the evening and at night, which cleans the remnants of food from the teeth. Cariogenic bacteria feed on these residues, which secrete acid that literally dissolves tooth enamel. I will tell you more about the function of saliva: it protects the oral mucosa and teeth from drying out.

The protein substance of saliva – mucin – is able to remove acids and alkalis (protection against caries); Saliva contains the enzyme-like protein substance lysozyme, which has a bacteriostatic effect and promotes the healing of wounds in the oral cavity. Salivation is a continuous process, but it slows down at night, therefore, the last meal should be at least 2 hours before bedtime.

Before going to bed, be sure to brush your teeth with a brush and paste. I also recommend using an irrigator to remove food debris where brushes are not available. Teeth need to be properly cleaned of plaque, as later, under the influence of saliva minerals, plaque hardens and turns into tartar. It will no longer be possible to remove it at home – it is firmly attached to the teeth. After the evening cleansing, I recommend not to eat or drink anything, except for plain water.

What happens if the tartar is not removed?

Removal of tartar is no longer a prevention, but a treatment. It is carried out in the dentist’s office and it is advisable not to delay this procedure. Often people may delay visiting a doctor because tartar has formed on the inside of the tooth and is not noticeable when talking and smiling. What are the consequences if the tartar is not removed? As I mentioned above, all dental deposits are an excellent breeding ground for pathogenic bacteria that cause caries; Cavities can appear on the teeth, and bacteria can easily penetrate under the destroyed enamel and cause extensive inflammation inside the tooth.

Tartar is most often formed at the very edge of the gum, which means it can cause bleeding and inflammation; It also contributes to the formation of a periodontal pocket, in which food debris can accumulate, causing inflammation in the gums. Accordingly, gingivitis and periodontitis may develop. The gums will bleed and hurt when eating rough food and brushing your teeth; Further, in the inflamed gums, the teeth can loosen, the necks of the teeth will be exposed, bad breath will appear, and all this will end in tooth loss.

Therefore, I urge everyone to thorough home oral hygiene, choose the right toothbrush and paste, use dental floss and an irrigator. And of course, I invite everyone to regular professional examinations at least 2-3 times a year. If, however, the refrigerator at night attracted you like a magnet, then I recommend brushing your teeth again – so you keep them healthy.

Symptoms of tartar

Let’s take a closer look at what leads to the formation of tartar:

  • insufficiently thorough brushing of teeth;

  • insufficient amount of raw vegetables and fruits, allowing the teeth to clean themselves. For this purpose, apples, celery, carrots, citrus fruits are useful;

  • metabolic disorders and salt balance in the body;

  • misaligned teeth.

The following unpleasant symptoms will indicate tartar:

  • bad breath (microorganisms that accumulate on the teeth are responsible for it);
  • swelling of the gums;

  • bleeding that occurs in the process of brushing your teeth, using dental floss;

  • increased sensitivity of the teeth;

  • a characteristic dirty yellowish tint of the teeth, often plaque is deposited above the gum – then it is visible to the naked eye. Subgingival tartar is diagnosed by a dentist.

Tartar is formed in several stages: first, soft plaque is impregnated with mineral components, and then hardens. This process takes from several months to six months. It is impossible to remove tartar at home – a hygienic cleaning by a doctor is necessary, which he recommends doing 1-2 times a year. Some mistakenly think that such a procedure is not necessary, because it does not whiten teeth to the state of the desired Hollywood smile. Indeed, the purpose of the procedure is different – to clean the teeth from plaque and tartar, which over time can lead to serious problems up to periodontitis (inflammatory gum disease). And, of course, after cleaning it is pleasant to run your tongue over polished clean teeth – you immediately want to smile more often. The surface of the teeth is polished not only for the sake of aesthetic effect, but also to create unfavorable conditions for fixing soft plaque.

What can be done at home for prevention

Take proper care of your teeth. Brush them twice a day, doing it right: with sweeping movements, from the gums. The process should take at least two minutes. It is necessary to clean not only the outer surface of the teeth, but also the inner one. It is not always possible to remove microscopic pieces of food stuck between the teeth with a brush – it is worth accustoming yourself to use dental floss. And even better – for advanced users – an irrigator. Rinsing after brushing your teeth will also be useful, as it helps to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

Photo: Pexels.com

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