Everyone develops plaque because bacteria’s are constantly growing in our mouths, which is not necessarily easy to see. Plaque that is not removed from around the gum line can cause inflammation and irritation to the gums around your teeth, leading to gingivitis (red, swollen, bleeding gums). If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontal disease and, possibly, tooth loss.
Unlike plaque, tartar is a mineral buildup that’s fairly easy to see, if above the gum line. The most common sign of tartar is a yellow or brown deposit between the lower front teeth or at the gum line. The only way to remove tartar completely is to see your dentist or dental hygienist for a professional cleaning.