Plaque is an opaque film that hardens to form tartar. Brushing and flossing regularly is usually sufficient to keep a mouth healthy, but when tartar accumulates, the bacteria start to attack the gums. When gums are healthy, the pocket between the gums and the tooth is only between 1-33mm deep. When gum disease starts to develop, these pockets get deeper and deeper, from 4mm to more than 12mm deep.
Except for bad breath and the occasional bleeding gum, there are very few early warning signs. Many patients don’t feel pain, or may notice some increased sensitivity, but under the surface, bone loss and gum recession can cause tooth loss. Patients with untreated periodontal disease are also more likely to have an increased chance of heart problems, stroke and diabetes, so prevention and treatment are key in maintaining whole body health.