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The American Dental Association estimates that over 47 percent of adults over the age of 30 have gum disease to some degree. At the same time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that 64% of seniors over age 65 have moderate to severe gum disease. Left unchecked advanced gum disease can cause a loss of material in the bones that anchor your teeth in your mouth.

Food particles and residual sugar in the mouth encourage bacterial growth. Bacteria can build up into a sticky film of plaque. If this plaque is not removed it can harden into tartar. Tartar is especially harmful at the gum line where it can lead to gum disease.

A diligent oral hygiene that includes brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and mildly abrasive toothpaste can help remove plaque. Flossing around the gum line helps remove food particles and plaque in those places your toothbrush can’t reach. Taking the time to eliminate plaque formation reduces the chances of tartar hardening at the gum line.

Your daily oral hygiene routine can remove the majority of the bacteria and plaque from your mouth, however it cannot remove all of it. Once tartar develops it can only be removed by the professional tools and techniques used by your dentist. This means it is especially important for you to keep your scheduled six month dental cleanings.

If you have questions about plaque and tartar buildup, or if you are due for your next deep dental cleaning, we invite you to call us at 626-793-2273 and let us help you keep your smile healthy and tartar free!