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Gum disease is one of the most serious and dangerous dental issues in the world today, and it begins with plaque and tartar. But what are plaque and tartar? Well, our Jacqueline S. Reid DDS dental team is happy to tell you all about these two harmful substances. That way you’ll understand more about the bacteria that can harm your smile and alter your oral health. Here is the information you need:

Plaque: Plaque is a white, sticky film that clings to your teeth. It forms when food particles, bacteria, and saliva mix in the mouth. When it lives on the teeth, it can irritate the gums, which can result in bleeding and swelling when you brush and floss your teeth. Another symptom is chronic bad breath. This is the first stage of gum disease, which is gingivitis.

Tartar: Tartar is the hardened form of plaque. It develops when plaque is not washed away on a regular basis. This substance is tougher to clean and the only treatment that can remove it from your smile is a dental cleaning at your dental office. When tartar lives on your smile, it continues to irritate your gums—except now the gums start to recede, which involves your gums moving away from your teeth. When this happens, pockets of infection will form. This will increase the bacterial presence in your mouth. Eventually, if the tartar is not treated, the bacteria will spread to your underlying bone and will start to deteriorate it. This can result in loose and lost teeth. This is the second stage of gum disease known as periodontitis.

If you prevent the growth of plaque and tartar, you’ll be on the right track toward a strong and successful oral health. In order to stop plaque and tartar from attacking your smile, you need to keep up on oral hygiene daily and visit your dentist, Dr. Jacqueline S. Reid, regularly. Brushing and flossing will help remove the plaque from your smile on a regular basis and your routine cleaning and checkup will remove the tartar from your teeth.

If you have any questions about plaque and tartar in Chatham, New Jersey, please call our office today at 973.635.9456 and talk to a member of our dental team. We are happy to help you!