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If plaque and residual food particles are not cleaned away by twice-daily brushing and flossing, they can harden into tartar near the gum line. Tartar is dense with harmful bacteria that can have a negative impact on the health of your gums. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice each day, immediately followed by flossing between your teeth and along the gum line. Hardened tartar at the gum line is the leading cause of periodontal disease.

Gum disease has different degrees of severity. The earliest form of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Early symptoms include gums that bleed easily when brushing and flossing, as well as issues with chronic bad breath. In many cases, the gums might also look red or inflamed. Gingivitis can often be resolved through improvements in your oral hygiene routine along with regular, twice-annual dental checkups and cleanings with Dr. [doctor_name].

Left unchecked, gingivitis can progress into the more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis. When this happens the inflammation in the gum tissues starts to cause the gums to recede from the base of your teeth. Eventually, pockets of infection start to form near the roots of your teeth.

Left unchecked periodontitis can even result in a loss of bone structure in the part of your jaw that anchors your teeth. In some cases, advanced periodontitis requires surgical intervention or prescription antibiotics to effectively treat and resolve the problem.

If you have questions or concerns about gum disease, please feel free to call Dr. [doctor_name]’s office in [city], [state] at [phone] to understand your prevention and treatment options.