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Residual food particles and the natural bacteria in your mouth, easily form into a film of plaque. If these food particles and plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing twice a day, it can easily harden into tartar. Hardened tartar near the gum line, exposed tissues to constant bacterial presence which is the leading cause of gum disease.

The ADA estimates that 47% of all adults over 30 years old have some degree of gum disease. Advanced gum disease, known as periodontitis, can cause your gums to recede from the base of your teeth, causing pockets of infection to form near the roots of your teeth. In time it can even cause a loss of bone structure in your jaw.

An effective oral hygiene routine, that involves brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, is the best defense against tartar buildup. When brushing your teeth, you should use a soft bristled toothbrush and abrasive toothpaste. This should be immediately followed by flossing between teeth and around the gum line to remove trapped food particles and plaque.

Even the most effective oral hygiene routine can still allow a small amount of tartar to harden on your teeth. Once this happens the tartar can only be removed by the professional tools and techniques used by your dentist. This means it is especially important for you to stick to your twice a year dental cleanings.

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 773.252.5757 to schedule an appointment.