Are tartar control toothpastes useful for preventing gum disease?

Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
Tartar-control toothpastes contain sodium pyrophosphates, which help prevent more tartar from forming. But the real problem of gum inflammation and periodontal disease is caused by bacteria forming under the gum. At the end of the day, we’re talking about fighting bacteria and preventing gums from becoming inflamed. But since these toothpastes deal more with the accumulated tartar on the enamel than with that on and under the gum, only a dentist and his tools can remove the stuff that's already made itself at home.
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