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Plaque is a dentistry buzzword and a headache for many. There is a connection between tartar and gum disease. If plaque isn’t removed each day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into a rough, porous substance called tartar, which can be difficult to remove. Gum disease in its most mild form is referred to as gingivitis. This is a progressive condition, beginning with concentrated areas of inflammation and continually worsening. In its advanced form, it is the leading cause of tooth loss. It accounts for about 70 percent of adult tooth loss, affecting nearly 80 percent of people at some point during their life. Symptoms, such as red, bleeding, painful, inflamed gums are typical, as are bad breath, an unusual taste in your mouth, and tooth separation. There are times, however, when no symptoms exist. Dr. Appel works to identify symptoms as meticulously as possible.
Genetics are also a factor in gum disease, as are lifestyle choices. A poor diet can weaken the body’s ability to fight infection and increase a person’s susceptibility to gum disease. This can also be said about stress. Stress can affect the ability to ward off disease and may contribute to an increased incidence of gum disease.
A variety of non-surgical procedures are available to combat gum disease. Scaling and root planing for example, are special cleanings that remove plaque and tartar from under the gumline. It even smoothes the root surfaces to promote healing. In some cases, antibiotics may be used to supplement scaling and root planing.
The effects of gum disease can be damaging to your dental health, eventually leading to the need for periodontal therapy. Through proper preventive care, oral hygiene, and early diagnosis, you can avoid serious problems associated with gum disease.