Routine cleanings are one of the most important preventative procedures. Plaque that is not removed properly by regular brushing and flossing can lead to calculus or tartar, which is calcified plaque. Calculus cannot be removed with normal brushing and can only be removed with certain instruments used by dental professionals during routine cleanings. If not removed, calculus can lead to periodontal disease, which is bone loss around your teeth. Gingivitis is the pre-cursor to periodontitis. Gingivitis causes the gums to become red/tender/swollen and bleed easily upon brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is generally caused by inadequate oral hygiene. The good news is gingivitis is reversible and can be treated with professional treatment and good oral hygiene at home.