Look at all of the calculus (tartar) and plaque on the inside of these front teeth (top photo). See how we removed the deposits with an in-office scaling and polishing (bottom photo). Calculus like this can build up very quickly with improper homecare. The deposits on the teeth attract harmful bacteria and their acidic byproducts. This causes irritation and inflammation of the gum tissue. See how red and swollen the gums are in the top photo. These gums will bleed as soon as touched. The bone is also attacked and begins to resorb, or dissolve. The tooth then has less bony support and, in time, the tooth will loosen and fall out.
The bottom photo was taken on the same visit after scaling and polishing. The gums look healthier – less red and swollen. If caught in time, if the patient develops meticulous brushing and flossing habits, if he returns for regular dental maintenance visits, the gums and bone will heal and he will keep his teeth. If not, he will be a candidate for implants or a denture. Don’t let this happen to you!