Daily brushing and cleaning between teeth are important to your dental health because it removes plaque. Plaque is a thin, colorless, sticky film that constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat foods containing sugars and starches, the bacteria in plaque produces acids, which attach tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with the teeth. After such attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.
It may surprise you to know that 50% of adults over the age of 18 and 75% of adults over age 35 have some degree of gum disease.
If plaque is not removed with daily brushing, it can eventually harden into calculus (tarter). As calculus forms near the gum line, good oral hygiene is more difficult to maintain and gums can become irritated and inflamed.They become swollen and may bleed. The gums begin to pull away from teeth and form pockets that usually become infected.
If gum disease is not treated promptly, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed and healthy teeth may be lost. Your dental team can remove calculus from your teeth and treat gum disease that has already appeared.
But daily care is in your hands. It’s never too early to start fighting back.