What is Tartar? Signs and Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention
Tartar build up in your mouth is an unsightly problem that can lead to more serious dental issues. Knowing what it is and how to prevent build up can help you maintain healthy, clean teeth and a beautiful smile. Keep reading to find out more.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria and viruses that forms on the teeth and at the gum line. It is difficult to detect because it is colorless, but plaque is always developing in your mouth and on your teeth. When this sticky film hardens or calcifies, it becomes tartar, which is also called calculus. The hardened plaque adheres to the enamel on your teeth and around the gum line; when it forms under or at the gum line, it frequently causes gum irritation. Calculus contributes to poor oral hygiene because it provides additional surface area for plaque to grow. It is a much sticker surface than the enamel of your teeth, making it easier for plaque to adhere and harden which makes the issue worse. This can lead to more serious dental problems including cavities, receding gums, and gum disease.
Signs and Symptoms
Although plaque is initially colorless, once it calcifies it becomes a yellow or brownish deposit that is easy to see. This is made worse by the fact that it is a rough and porous substance that easily absorbs stains, making people with build up more prone to staining from substances like wine, tea, coffee, and tobacco. Even though calculus is usually easy to see, the only way to know for sure if you have a build up problem is to see your dentist.
There is no way to remove harden plaque at home, so treatment must be performed by a dentist or oral hygienist. During a professional cleaning, your dentist or oral hygienist uses a processes called scaling to remove build up from your teeth. Special instruments are used to scrap calculus from the teeth, both above and below the gum line.
Proper oral hygiene is important to prevent plaque build up so that it doesn’t harden into calculus. Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice per day for two minutes each time, being sure to clean all of your teeth; using a tartar control toothpaste or electric toothbrush can also be helpful. Flossing every day prevents the build up of plaque between your teeth in areas your toothbrush can’t touch. Visit your dentist for a professional cleaning at least twice a year to remove the build up that can’t be reached with a toothbrush or flossing and any plaque that has already harden. Your diet can also contribute to build up on your teeth because the bacteria that create plaque love sugary and starchy foods. Consuming a lot of this kind of food provide the bacteria with the resources to thrive and produce more plaque. Limiting your intake of sugary and starchy foods and drinking lots of water after meals helps control plaque build up.
Hardened plaque can build up in your mouth, leading to discolored teeth, staining, and oral health issues. However, with proper oral hygiene such as rinsing and brushing your teeth with Dead Sea Salt containing mouthwash and toothpaste can help prevent the build up of plaque and calculus in your mouth and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.
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