What is dental plaque and is it possible to fight against it through natural remedies? (Give examples, please!)

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Dental plaque is an accumulation of bacteria, what my hygienist calls "colonies" of bacteria. Our mouths are ideal places for bacteria, since they are warm, moist, and dark. The idea of a "natural remedy" is not quite applicable, since there is no "cure" for an ongoing problem, which plaque is. If you were to stop eating or drinking anything at all, the plaque would certainly decrease significantly, but you would have a few other problems, wouldn't you? The way to prevent plaque from building up is to floss and brush frequently. If you are unable to do this, for example, at school, then swishing some water around in your mouth is quite helpful in disrupting those colonies. Using a straw is said to be helpful when drinking anything sweet, since the liquid is bypassing your teeth more. Probably the worst thing you can do is go to bed without brushing and flossing your teeth, since overnnight, those bacteria can be busy building up in your mouth. These are not what I would call unnatural remedies. Always, you should visit a dentist regularly for checkups since plaque can do a great deal of damage and follow his or her advice on this matter. I hope this helps you. Good luck!
giorgiana1976 | Student

Dental plaque is a polysaccharide matrix in which there are locked the bacteria which are growing on the tooth surface. The main bacteria responsible with the dental cavities occurence is known as Streptococcus mutans.

The flavonoids (quercetin and myricetin) comprised into cranberries could effectively fight against the destructive effect of the bacteria mentioned above.The methods of struggle are numerous, such as:

-acid prevention;

-impeding of  bacteria adherence to the teeth surfaces;

- enzymes inhibition

You could see the cranberry juice action over the teeth as a plating with teflon of a surface, blocking the bacteria which cause cavities to adhere to the surface of teeth.

The cranberry is also known for it's properties to prevent the adherence of pathogens of the bladder' surface, thus protecting the urinary tract of infections.

 The cranberry juice prevent the building of dental plaque, made by bacteria with the help of glucosyltransferases, by inhibiting them.

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