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Are Dental Plaque and Arterial Plaque the Same?

Posted on 6/3/2024 by East Village Dental Centre
illustration of a magnifying glass showing dental plaqueDental plaque and arterial plaque are different but closely related. While dental plaque is the build-up of bacterial colonies in the mouth, arterial plaque builds inside the artery, restricting blood flow.

What Is Plaque?

Plaque is simply a sticky obstructive substance that develops on a surface. Plaque can accumulate on the surface of many different organs, causing problems. The accumulation of sugar, calcium amino acids, proteins, lipids, cellular waste, and salts on the surface results in plaque. The teeth and arteries are the most prone to plaque build-up.

Dental Plaque

Dental plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth. Mouth plaque is non-mineralized, which means that it is not made up of mineral deposits but rather bacteria colonies thriving in a blend of carbohydrates, amino acids, saliva, lipids, and proteins. The bacteria colonies survive on these food substances and rapidly multiply, creating foul smell and bad breath. The bacteria are also responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, and many other dental disorders. The main cause of dental plaque is poor oral hygiene.

Arterial Plaque

Arterial plaque is a build-up of cholesterol, fibrin, cellular waste, fibrin, and calcium on the inner walls of arteries. As this inner lining of the artery stiffens and thickens, blood flow is inhibited, and arterial structure deteriorates. This causes a condition known as arteriosclerosis. At times, a plaque bursts open, causing a clot to form inside the artery. This is a life-threatening condition, especially when arteries serving the brain or heart are affected. Tissue inflammation, blood pressure, and cardiovascular disorders are common in people with arterial plaque. Diet, diabetes, high cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for arterial plaque.

Are Arterial Plaque and Dental Plaque Related?

While dental plaque and arterial plaque are different, there is a close connection between the two. Bacteria from the oral tissues easily get into the bloodstream and damage the arterial lining. This increases the chances of arterial plaque build-up. According to the Harvard Medical School, patients with gum disease have twice the risk of developing cardiovascular problems linked to arteriosclerosis. Proper oral hygiene can thus help prevent many diseases.




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East Village Dental Centre, 901 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, 773-341-9325,, 7/17/2024, Tags: Dentist Chicago IL,