The American Center for Disease Control estimates that over 50% of all adults over the age of 30 have some degree of gum disease. Hardened tartar at the gum line is the most common cause infection and inflammation of the gum tissues.
The initial form of gum disease is gingivitis. Early symptoms include inflamed or red gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing. Many people with gingivitis also struggle with chronic bad breath known as halitosis.
If gingivitis isn’t caught and resolved early it can develop more dangerous form of gum disease known as periodontitis. This degree of infection can cause the gums to recede from the base of your teeth. This creates pockets of infection, that can damage the roots of teeth and even cause a loss of bone structure.
In recent years several different research studies have found a relationship between this systemic inflammation caused by gum disease and other serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. While gum disease does not cause these medical problems, they seem to happen more frequently together.
The irritation of gum tissue caused by regular tobacco use also increases your chances of developing gum disease.
Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day helps remove plaque and food particles 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.