How Plaque And Tartar Affect Your Oral Health

A couple of dental terms you may hear when you are at an appointment with your Gary, IN, dentist are plaque and tartar, two issues that can sometimes affect your oral health. When plaque builds up and is left untreated, it may lead to gum disease. That, in turn, could lead to other issues if it is not treated early. Let us look at what plaque and tartar are in today’s blog post and what can be done to help prevent them from building up on your teeth. 

What Plaque Is, And Why You Should Be Concerned About It

Plaque is a sticky and colorless film of bacteria. Since it is always appearing on our teeth and gum lines, the best approach for removing it is by brushing and flossing regularly. Plaque does contain bacteria. Left untreated, this bacteria could lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Tartar, on the other hand, is plaque that has hardened and attached itself to the tooth’s enamel. It can form below and above the gum line. Since it is so hard, only a dentist can completely remove it. 

Other Issues Related to Plaque And Tartar Buildup

The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. This may happen when plaque forms on tartar that has already built up on your teeth. Signs that a patient may be experiencing gingivitis include gums that bleed when brushing, red or tender gums, and regular bad breath. Please visit us if you are experiencing any of these issues so that we can determine their cause and treat them. 

Why You Should Take Care of Gingivitis Early

To help prevent further issues, it is best to detect and treat gingivitis early. However, if it is not treated early, then a patient may experience periodontitis, which is when an infection forms in the pockets around the teeth. A scaling and root planing treatment will be needed at this point in order to save the teeth. Scaling is when we remove tartar from the teeth below and above the gum line. Root planing is when we smooth out the roots, making it more difficult for bacteria to cling to them. 

What You Can Do At Home

Plaque is something that every patient experiences. To help remove it, continue your good, regular dental habits of brushing twice a day and flossing daily. And be sure to schedule your routine exams and cleanings with us so that we can address any issues quickly.

Schedule An Appointment With Us Today 

Removing plaque and tartar is a common dental practice and one that we are happy to help you with. To find out more, or to schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles in Gary, IN, today at 219-938-2637.