Help! Suddenly rough teeth despite teeth cleaning

Jun 22, 2024
Summary: Within a week, my teeth became rougher than they had ever been before. This caused a quite lot of plaque to accumulate and bad breath. After a professional cleaning, the result of which actually looked good, the teeth became similarly rough again within 7 days (!). Despite good oral hygiene and only eating in the morning and evening. Chlorhexidine helps. What could be the cause? What can I do?

I am 28 and have had tartar for about 4 years, sometimes more, sometimes less, a few months after a dental cleaning. So far, however, this has been within reasonable limits and has always been removed with a dental cleaning (approx. every 12-14 months). I haven't had any "real" tartar recently, i.e. the kind that you can break off when enough has accumulated, and I've rarely had any in the past. It's more like a very thin layer that you can't get off on your own.

I now have quite a bit of discoloration in some places. Before my last professional cleaning, the discoloration was also somewhat worse than usual.

Up until 4 weeks ago, I thought that everything could be fixed with a dental cleaning (maybe every 6 months if necessary).
However, my teeth then became much rougher within a week. Especially on the insides of the lower front teeth and first molars.
So in the place where there is the most saliva and where tartar would later form.
My teeth have never been anywhere near as rough and it has never happened so quickly.

How can this happen so suddenly?
I thought that they had simply become so rough so quickly because the rougher the teeth are, the more plaque sticks to them and that at some point the point is reached where plaque and tartar increase exponentially.

I also had bad breath, which I only had rarely and briefly before.

A week ago I had a dental cleaning. The front teeth in particular were not 100% smooth afterwards, but it was much, much better (maybe 90-95% smooth) and the insides of the molars, which were very rough before, were very smooth afterwards.
Overall, it felt good and I thought I could now take my time to look for the cause.

I discovered a slightly rough spot for the first time after 3 days, but I still thought I was imagining it.
However, on the 6th day after the professional cleaning, I clearly noticed that my teeth were getting rougher again. And one day later, I suddenly had clearly visible plaque edges again and these strange, firmer, white (not yellowish) plaques on the inside of the lower front teeth.

I then really tried to remove the plaque with a medium manual toothbrush and a Sonicare on the highest setting (I normally brush with this). I also brushed as hard as you shouldn't do every day. Simply to test whether it would even be possible to remove the plaque with a toothbrush. It wasn't.
The plaque can only be "scraped off" with a fingernail or scaler. However, I didn't really have to scrape it, but the plaque could be removed relatively easily.
It's just so sticky/slimy, which is why you could perhaps compare it to jelly. If I brush jelly with a toothbrush, I would have to do it for a very long time for anything to happen. But I can easily "scrape" something off with a scaler.

I was also surprised that the bad breath was hardly reduced after the professional cleaning. Especially as I now scrape my tongue daily. I don't know where else the odor is supposed to come from directly after the professional cleaning, which actually looked quite successful.

My questions:
1) How can it be that 7 days (!) after a dental cleaning the teeth become as rough again as they never were before?
I didn't even eat lunch on 4 of the 7 days. I brushed normally one hour after breakfast and dinner, so that no biofilm should have formed for most of the day.

2) What can I do now?
I don't know where this will lead if I don't do anything. A week after the professional cleaning, I started using chlorhexidine in the morning and evening.
As expected, this resulted in no new plaque forming. However, the existing plaque also disappeared after two applications, the bad breath is completely gone and the teeth slowly became smoother again.
Can any conclusions be drawn from this as to the cause or is the CHX just extremely good at combating the symptoms?
Dec 26, 2023
CHX will discolour your teeth (dark)...I have lots of plaque buildup and have my teeth cleaned every 4-6 months. And once a year, I also have a polish to smoothen the teeth.

I floss with string and use a Waterpik water flosser.


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