When you eat your food you usually chew meticulously to can enjoy every bite. But sometimes, no matter how well you chew, there will be a little bit left behind in your mouth, most notably between your teeth and your teeth and gums. Bacteria can also linger in your mouth after you swallow your food. This left behind bacteria will slowly turn into a sticky film known as plaque. With time plaque will harden into tartar and cause gum disease!
In the early stages of gum disease, or gingivitis, you can treat it by stepping up your oral hygiene regimen. Since the American Dental Association (or ADA) determined that 47% of the population in the United States has some form of gum disease, this is something you don’t want to ignore! Once gingivitis turns into its most advanced stage, periodontitis, it is much harder to treat. If you leave it untreated completely, the bone material supporting the teeth will deteriorate and you can end up with lost teeth.
So begin by brushing and flossing twice a day, every day. You want to clean all the surface areas of your teeth, as well as the crevices between the teeth, and the gums and gum line, where bacteria can hide and turn into plaque. Scrape the bacterial coating off your tongue while you are at it, either with your toothbrush or using an inexpensive tongue scraper. Rinse your mouth well with an antibacterial mouthwash to kill any unwanted bacteria left behind.
Avoiding dry mouth is also a deterrent, as your saliva has antibacterial compounds that destroy bacteria and washes your mouth. Staying hydrated, avoiding mouth breathing and tobacco products can all help your saliva production.
Besides staying on top of your oral hygiene game, make sure to enlist the help of your dentist to remove any hardened plaque during your deep dental cleanings. Using tools and techniques to scrape the tartar (or calculus) away from your teeth and gums, you will be ensuring that dental disease stays at bay.
If you have any questions about tartar, or your gum health, give us a call at 802-879-7811 and let us help you keep your smile its brightest ever!