According to the American Dental Association Over 47 percent of the U.S. adult population over the age of 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease. Additionally 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, known as periodontitis, can cause a loss of material in the bones that anchor your teeth.
Food particles and residual sugar in the mouth create a prime breeding ground for bacteria. Over time the bacteria in your mouth can build up into a 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 cause gum disease.
An effective and diligent oral hygiene routine is your first line of defense against tartar. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and abrasive toothpaste with fluoride can help remove some of this plaque. Flossing around the gum line helps remove food particle and plaque in places that your toothbrush simply can’t reach.
While your daily oral hygiene regimen can remove the majority of the bacteria and plaque from your mouth, it cannot remove it all. Once tartar develops it can only be removed by the professional tools and techniques used by your dentist. During your twice annual dental checkups we monitor your mouth for early warning signs of tartar buildup and gum disease.
If you have questions about plaque and tartar buildup, or you are due for your next dental cleaning, please feel free to call us at 505.292.6414 to schedule an appointment.