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Perhaps you’ve seen an ad on TV for a tartar control toothpaste or mouthwash and wondered what the difference was between tartar and plaque.

Food particles and sugar from beverages in your mouth are a prime breeding material for bacteria. Not long after you finish a meal these bacteria go to work. As the bacteria bloom they create acids and other compounds that can lead to tooth decay and the formation of cavities.

Over time the bacteria form a film known as plaque. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristled brush and abrasive toothpaste, and flossing around the gum line helps remove food particle and plaque.

While a good daily oral hygiene regimen can remove the majority of the bacteria and plaque from your mouth it cannot remove it all. Over time these plaque deposits harden into tartar. Tartar near the gum line can cause the gum tissues to start to pull away from the teeth and become infected, leading to gum disease.

Once tartar develops it can only be removed by your dentist. This is just one of the reasons why visiting your dentist twice a year is so important.

During your routine appointments we monitor your mouth for early warning signs, answer questions and help you improve your brushing and flossing technique. If you have questions about gum disease, please feel free to call us at 912-354-9541 to schedule an appointment.