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Plaque and tartar are dangerous substances, especially because they promote gum disease. But what are the differences between the two? If you’re not sure, our North Mesquite Dental dental team is more than happy to tell you! Here is the information you need to know about both substances:

Plaque: Plaque is a white, sticky film that clings to your teeth. It forms when food particles, bacteria, and saliva mix in the mouth. When it lives on the teeth, it can irritate the gums, which can result in bleeding and swelling when you brush and floss your teeth. Another symptom is chronic bad breath. This is the first stage of gum disease, which is gingivitis.

Tartar: Tartar is the hardened form of plaque. It develops when plaque is not washed away on a regular basis. This substance is tougher to clean and the only treatment that can remove it from your smile is a dental cleaning at your dental office. When tartar lives on your smile, it continues to irritate your gums—except now the gums start to recede, which involves your gums moving away from your teeth. When this happens, pockets of infection will form. This will increase the bacterial presence in your mouth. Eventually, if the tartar is not treated, the bacteria will spread to your underlying bone and will start to deteriorate it. This can result in loose and lost teeth. This is the second stage of gum disease known as periodontitis.

It’s best to prevent the growth of plaque and tartar on your smile as much as possible. In order to do so, you need to brush your teeth every morning and every night, floss your smile once a day, and visit your dentist, Dr. Tina Foss, every six months. These things will help you keep harmful substances away from your smile.

To learn more about plaque and tartar in Mesquite, Texas, please call our office today at 972-686-6477 and schedule an appointment. We are happy to help you in any way we can!