The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than half of all adults over age 30 have gum disease at some level. Hardened tartar buildup at the gum line is the one of the most common causes of gum disease. These factors can also be increased by things like tobacco use, dry mouth and poor oral hygiene.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. Initial symptoms include red or inflamed gums that bleed easily after brushing and flossing. This might also be accompanied by chronic bad breath.
If gingivitis isn’t resolved through improvement in oral hygiene it can advance into dangerous periodontitis. This can cause the gums to recede from the base of your teeth creating pockets of infection deep down in the gums. In time it can damage the roots of teeth and even result in a loss of bone structure in the jawbone itself.
New research studies different have even found a relationship between the systemic inflammation caused by gum disease and other medical conditions. While gum disease does not cause these problems it does seem to have a relationship with conditions like diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day helps remove plaque before it can harden into tartar. Tartar can be very hard to remove at home. It often requires the tools and training of the dental professionals at your regular dental cleaning.