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Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. In this early stage tartar and bacteria at the gum line cause an inflammation that irritates the gums. Early symptoms include red or inflamed gums that might bleed easily during brushing and flossing. It may also include bad breath.

As gingivitis advances tartar buildup near the gum line can cause your gums to pull back from your teeth. This creates pockets in your gums that can harbor bacterial infection. Over time this inflammation in the gum tissue and even systemic inflammation that can impact your immune system. Left untreated periodontitis can even cause a loss of material in the bones that anchor your teeth.

Regular brushing and flossing can help remove food particles and plaque from your teeth before it can harden into tartar. However it’s natural for a little tartar to form despite your best efforts. Once tartar forms at the gum line it can only effectively be removed by the professional tools and techniques employed at your dental cleaning.

If you are concerned that you might be developing gum disease or you are overdue for your regular dental cleaning, please call us at 360-423-5580 to schedule an appointment.