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What happens when tartar builds up in your mouth? Do you know what tartar is? When you eat food, tiny bits and particles are often left behind, usually between your teeth or teeth and gum lines. That and the excess sugar in your mouth are a haven for bacteria to flourish. Over time this buildup becomes a sticky film of plaque that hardens into tartar. When tartar develops at the gum line it can eventually turn into gum disease.

The American Dental Association estimates that more than 47% of the United States population over the age of 30 has some form of gum disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 64% of those over 65 have advanced gum disease. Advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, can cause the loss of material in the bones that hold the teeth.

So how can you prevent the ravages of gum disease? Your first line of defense is establishing a meticulous oral hygiene regimen. First, brush your teeth (and gums) twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and a fluoride containing toothpaste. Next, take the time to floss around the gums and gum line to remove stuck food particles and plaque where your toothbrush can’t reach. Rinsing with a microbial mouthwash can also help wash away lingering germs.

As you work to keep plaque at bay with your daily oral hygiene routine, be sure and see your dentist every six months to remove the tartar that can still build up over time. Once tartar is formed, it will take dental tools and careful precision to remove. Whenever you visit your dental office you will be checked for the early warning signs of gum disease.

We invite you to call our office at 313-562-5610 if you have any questions about plaque and tartar, or if you are ready for your next dental cleaning. Together we will help you win the battle against gum disease!