Learn the Meanings of Common Dental Terminology

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Also called tartar is a hardened dental plaque. Brushing and flossing help remove plaque which helps keep calculus from forming. However, once calculus has formed it is too hard to remove with a toothbrush.  Dentists use ultrasonic tools and sharp instruments to scrap off calculus during teeth cleaning. It is recommend that you see a dentist at least twice a year for teeth cleaning.


Sometimes confused with Gingivitis, however, gingivitis happens before periodontitis. Periodontitis is severe and is a result of untreated gingivitis. Gums become inflamed and or infected which will deteriorate the support for the teeth.

Plaque and tartar buildup and contain bacteria that can be trapped in pockets of swelling tissue. This will eventually cause the destruction of gum, bone and ligament tissue. A tooth abscess may also develop.

Gums will appear red-purple and swollen. Often a bad breath odor accompanies peritontitis. Gums may be tender but not necessarily painful. Blood on toothbrush is often a sign that some stage of periodontitis is occurring.

Left untreated will cause tooth loss and possible infection to the jaw bone.

Depending on the severity, surgery may be necessary to repair gums and loose teeth.  After correcting gum and tooth structure a long with the removal of plaque and calculus deposits a meticulous oral hygiene regimen is needed to prevent further deterioration.