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As you may already know, plaque and tartar are harmful to your smile. In fact, they’re so harmful that they can destroy your smile and damage your oral health by creating gum disease. But what are the differences between the two substances? Well, there are quite a few. To help you know more about plaque and tartar so you can better understand the dangerous substances for your smile, our Crosby Dental Center dental team has the following information for you:

-Plaque: Plaque is a white, sticky film that is made of leftover food particles, bacteria, and saliva that mix in your mouth. It tends to cling to your teeth without you even noticing. If it is able to build up on your teeth, it begins to irritate your gums. This is called gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. When your gums are irritated, they tend to bleed and swell when you brush and floss. Another symptom of gingivitis is chronic bad breath.

Tartar: Tartar is also known as calculus and it is the hardened form of plaque. Tartar occurs when the plaque is left untreated. Once tartar forms, your gums tend to move away from the teeth, which will form pockets of infection. Then, the bacteria from the tartar will spread to the underlying bone and will start to deteriorate it. Eventually, if it’s left untreated, it can result in loose and lost teeth. This is the second stage of gum disease known as periodontitis.

Now that you know the differences between plaque and tartar in Houston, Texas, it’s time to keep them away from your smile and oral health. To help you do so, we encourage you to keep up on oral hygiene by brushing twice and flossing once a day and to visit our dentists, Dr. Jim Nored & Annette Gemp, every six months. These appointments are vital because they involve the only treatment that can completely remove plaque and tartar from your smile. For more information, tips and details, please call our office today at 281-328-3569. We are happy to help you!