Periodontal (Gum) Disease (cont.)
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Periodontal (Gum) Disease Causes
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that clings to the surface of teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing every day may not completely remove all the plaque, especially around the gum line. The bacteria in the plaque produce toxins that may injure the gums and supporting tissues.
Plaque that is not completely removed within 48 hours hardens into a rough deposit called tartar or calculus. Once tartar develops, the only way to remove it is by having the teeth professionally cleaned. Tartar below the gum line causes inflammation and infection. Because this process is often painless, a person may be unaware a problem exists.
Causes or factors that worsen gum disease include the following:
Terry K. Carstensen, DO
William R. Fraser, DO
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