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Gum disease is not an uncommon oral health issues. Tartar build up at the gum line is the most common cause infection and inflammation of the gum tissues. The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Initial symptoms include red or inflamed gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing.

If gingivitis is allowed to advanced it can become the more dangerous form of gum disease known periodontitis. This level of infection usually causes the gums to recede from the base of your teeth, creating pockets of infection. This can damage the roots of teeth and in time it can cause a loss of material in the bones anchoring your teeth.

Recent research has found a relationship between this systemic inflammation caused by gum disease and other serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. While gum disease does not cause these medical problems, they seem to happen more frequently together.

Regular tobacco use also increases the likelihood of developing gum disease, as it tends to irritate the gum tissues and lends itself to infection.

Regular brushing, flossing between teeth and along the gum line helps to prevent tartar from forming. Tartar can be very hard to remove at home. It often requires the tools and training of the dental professionals at your regular dental cleaning.