Factors that affect dental plaque formation

How is dental plaque formed and why? All of us should know the answer to this question so that we can prevent its accumulation on our teeth and maintain a healthy smile, free from diseases!

Maintenance of the microbial community in the oral cavity requires symbiosis between bacteria and their host organism.

That reflects a balance between factors that promote growth and those that tend to inhibit growth. The oral flora is influenced by a wide range of factors related to diet, saliva, gingival fluid, the environment in the oral cavity and the host.


The primary role is held once again by the diet.

The presence of carbohydrates such as lactose, glucose, maltose leads to increased plaque .Also frequent consumption of these substances increases the chances of caries on the tooth surface.

Some foods, remain between the teeth or adhering to the occlusal surfaces of the teeth. So bacteria have “food” and multiply by secreting products of their metabolism, which is detrimental for our teeth.


One of the key properties of saliva is its action as an effective buffer,adjusts the pH of most surfaces. Saliva normally has pH 6,75 – 7,25. Many bacteria found in healthy plaque can withstand exposure to low pH, but are killed or inhibited by prolonged exposure.

The regular decrease of ph with frequent intake of sugar will lead to the proliferation of bacteria and increased caries.

Saliva contains important growth factors, proteins and minerals that can be used in the metabolism of bacteria. However, the microbial flora must act synergistically to effect the complete degradation of these compounds.

Finally, saliva contains many antimicrobial agents.


A liquid, which contains proteins, and amino acids, minerals, vitamins and glucose. It has the protective functions for the host due to the effect of rinsing (gums and teeth), and the high number of antibodies containing.


Most micro-organisms that live in our oral cavity is optional anaerobes (this means that when oxygen is present in the environment prefer aerobic respiration, but can survive without oxygen). But there are organisms that are required anaerobs and die in the presence of oxygen.

We will study this matter in an anither article in details,because it is quite complex and such knowledge is not mandatory for many to have.We made a simple reference to understand more precisely what happens inside your mouth.


Host is the organism that hosts bacteria that parasitize against him. In this case we are hosts,all of us!

In combination with the other factors mentioned above,the presence of a serious disease that is not specific to the oral cavity, the use of antibiotics or chemotherapy to fight cancer can cause turbulence in relationship between the host and the microbes.

The best way to control micro-organisms in the oral cavity is the essential oral care.

Athina Tsiorva

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