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Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that that that 64% of seniors over age 65 have moderate to severe periodontal disease. However, you shouldn’t let that statistic lead you to believe that gum disease is only a problem for seniors. It is estimated by American Dental Association that roughly 47% of all people over 30 years old also have some degree of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease has several different forms. The earliest stage is known as gingivitis. Common symptoms include bad breath, and red or inflamed gums that bleed easily during regular brushing and flossing.

Advanced periodontal disease, known as periodontitis, can cause your gums to recede from the base of your teeth. This can create pockets of infection near the roots of your teeth. In time it can even result in a loss of bone structure where your teeth are anchored to your jaw.

The leading cause of periodontal disease is hardened tartar at the gum line. Hardened tartar is caused by residual food particles and plaque that are not removed during the course of your oral hygiene routine.

Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and abrasive toothpaste, followed by flossing between teeth and around the gum line, is essential for removing plaque and food particles.

Yet, the most effective oral hygiene routine can’t completely clean away hardened tartar from your teeth. Only the professional tools and techniques used by your dentist can completely remove hardened tartar. This makes it especially important that you attend your regular 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 916.567.0900 to schedule an appointment.