Dental tartar is a bacterial residue left behind on the teeth that can lead to stains and decay. Tartar can become very hard and bonded to your teeth, making it impossible to remove without the specialized skills and tools of a dentist in the area. Once tartar is formed on your teeth, it is even easier for additional tartar and advanced tartar, called calculus, to also adhere to your teeth.
Learn these ten things you should know about tartar.
1. Tartar Lurks Near the Gumline
Tooth tartar is also called dental calculus, and it typically forms in the nooks and crannies of your teeth, particularly around the gumline. Wherever your toothbrush or floss can’t reach is where tartar likes to grow.
2. Tartar Makes It Tricky to Brush and Floss
Tartar turns hard and sticky, making it more difficult to get a toothbrush where it needs to be. It also can make it very challenging, even painful, to floss between teeth and around the gums. This begins a vicious cycle; the discomfort and difficulty contribute to the formation of more tartar and eventual tooth decay.
3. Bad Breath Is an Early Sign of Problems
Have you noticed that you’ve had bad breath lately? Foul breath is an early sign of tartar and the need to increase flossing between teeth. If you fail to act, the tartar around the gumline will become harder and darker. This plaque is the beginning of gum disease and tooth decay. Prompt intervention from your dentist and vigilant dental hygiene may help control and reverse the condition, but it won’t restore any teeth that have decayed or been lost.
4. Tartar Is Stubborn
The process of removing tartar from teeth is often called descaling. Tartar is rough and raised on the smooth surface of your teeth; it must be removed with special instruments by your dental provider.
5. Tartar Can Get Worse
Things can get worse quickly with tartar. The bacteria growing in your gums and teeth can become infected, which is considered periodontitis. You may need antibiotics to recover from the infection, but it can cause permanent bone and tissue damage in your mouth.
6. Smoking Contributes to Tartar
Smoking contributes to the formation of tartar, so don’t smoke. Reports indicate that those who smoke or use tobacco products are more likely to have tartar buildup on their teeth.
7. Tartar Can Harm Your Heart
For years, studies have reported a link between plaque caused by bacterial tartar and heart disease. When plaque is not removed from the teeth, it can break free and be released into the bloodstream, where it could cause clogs or other complications.
8. Tartar Presents Serious Health Risks
Tartar impacts overall health and wellness; individuals suffering from tooth decay and disease caused by tartar may struggle with confidence or self-esteem. Many may experience depression. Furthermore, the physical inflammation and bacterial growth caused by poor dental hygiene can contribute to dementia.
9. Flossing Is Your First Defense
The most effective way that you can prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque between your teeth and around your gumline is to floss. Floss after every meal, and rinse with a tartar-preventing mouthwash each day.
10. You Need to See Your Provider Every 6 Months
Visiting your dental provider every six months is the best way to stay on top of tartar. Your dentist will descale your teeth to prevent the calculus from causing decay, discomfort, and tooth loss.
There are various other factors involved in whether you are susceptible to dental tartar or not, including age, diet, and genetics.
Is tartar compromising your dental health? Restore your smile with Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. Choose to restore your teeth and regain your confidence.