Heading to work after forgetting to brush your teeth might feel fine at first, but you might feel a sticky film develop throughout the day. Where does the stickiness come from? Is it harmful?
What causes the stickiness in my teeth?
The stickiness is caused by deposits that have formed on your teeth, also known as plaque. Plaque is made up of mostly bacteria, food particles and saliva. Even though plaque is barely visible to the human eye, it is very harmful to your oral health.
How harmful is plaque buildup to my health?
Plaque buildup can cause bad breath, yellow teeth, bleeding gums, and in some cases could lead to heart diseases and dementia. It causes the immune system to activate and leads to inflammation, which could result in several health problems down the line.
The acid excreted by the bacteria leads to bad breath, enamel destruction, as well as tooth decay and cavities. Failing to remove it within 48 hours could lead to hardening of the plaque and cause tartar buildup which cannot be removed with a toothbrush and flossing.
Sticky teeth from dental devices
One of the main causes of sticky teeth is an improperly fitting set of dentures, braces or clear aligners. When these devices are not properly inserted or molded, it allows food and plaque to build up in hard to reach places. Be sure that your dentist has properly molded your orthodontics to avoid another possible cause of sticky teeth.
How do I get rid of stickiness in my teeth?
Thoroughly brushing your teeth and carefully cleaning between your teeth through flossing is a simple way for your teeth to feel smooth once again.
- Use a soft, not hard, nylon brush head. The gentle bristles will help protect your teeth and gums.
- Don’t brush hard. Instead use soft strokes to help remove the plaque. If you brush hard you may cause damage to your gums and teeth.
- Brush for two minutes, at least twice a day. By brushing after every meal you can help reduce the likelihood of plaque building up
- Floss every day to reach the places where your toothbrush can’t get to.
- Visit your dentist for a bi-annual dental checkup and cleaning. Your dentist can remove plaque that might have built-up over time to help your teeth feel even more clean and fresh.
Plaque that has hardened can only be removed by a dentist. Attempts at removing them yourself could lead to serious damage to the enamel, so having a professional take a look at it can help.