The Importance of Healthy Teeth
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is vital for your general health. If you do not look after your teeth and gums properly, plaque and tartar can easily build up. This can create several problems, including gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. If you suffer from certain medical conditions, maintaining healthy teeth and gums is even more important. For example, those who suffer from diabetes should take particular care of their teeth and gums as high glucose levels can make you more likely to develop periodontal disease.
PlaquePlaque is formed when bacteria from your saliva attaches itself to your tooth enamel. Initially, it is colourless and hard to see. Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste will help to remove plaque. In addition to this, flossing on a daily basis and using anti-bacterial mouthwash will also be beneficial for fighting plaque.
TartarTartar is formed when some of the minerals found in your saliva react with built-up plaque to create a hard white layer. This often happens behind your lower front teeth. If tartar is allowed to build up, it requires a dentist or dental hygienist to remove it. Removing as much plaque as possible from your teeth is the best way to stop the build-up of tartar.
Periodontal DiseaseIf plaque and tartar are allowed to build up, they can result in periodontal disease. In its early stages, this involves the soft gum tissue becoming irritated. This is known as gingivitis. Periodontal disease is a step further than this, and involves the bone underneath the gum becoming irritated as well.
Periodontal disease has several signs, including:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing your teeth or flossing
- Bad breath
- Feeling as though there is a bad taste in your mouth
- Receding gums
- Teeth becoming loose
- Teeth starting to move apart