What Is Dental Tartar?

When growing up, everyone is told it is important to floss, brush and rinse out the mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash to combat the buildup of dental tartar.  However, plenty of people have no idea what dental tartar really is and why it is on the teeth.

Here is an in-depth look at dental tartar to help readers better understand what is really going on in their mouth.

Plaque Formation Sets the Stage for Dental Tartar

Those who take fantastic care of their teeth with regular flossing, brushing and rinsings can still end up with an abundance of harmful bacteria in the mouth.  These bacteria combine with proteins and food particles to form the disgusting sticky film known as dental plaque. Dental plaque coats the teeth, moving on down below the gum line and sticking to dental work and/or other fillings.

Plaque is rife with bacteria that have the potential to severely damage the enamel of the teeth and lead to the formation of cavities.  Plaque removal is necessary to prevent gum disease and permanent tooth decay. Even more, problems will arise if plaque remains on the teeth and eventually hardens into tartar.

The Basics of Dental Tartar

Tartar, also referred to as calculus, forms beneath the gum line as well as above it.  Tartar is porous and rough. It has the potential to cause gum recession as well as gum disease.  People cannot remove tartar cannot by brushing, flossing or the regular rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash.

Only a dentist's nuanced tools are capable of removing tartar. This removal procedure is known as scaling and polishing.

Why Dental Tartar is Terrible for Your Mouth

Tartar is a major problem for oral health as it makes it that much more challenging for flossing and brushing sessions to clean the mouth as they should.  If tartar is left on the teeth for extended periods of time, it will eventually lead to tooth decay and cavities. Tartar that forms above the gum line is especially bad news.  The bacteria within this tartar will irritate and damage the gums.

As time progresses, this tartar will likely lead to gum disease. Gum disease has major oral health ramifications if it is not treated in a timely manner.  Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. Patients can halt and even reverse it with thorough flossing/brushing and visits with the dentist. If tartar is left in place and gingivitis goes untreated, there is the potential for the patient to suffer an even more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis.

This condition involves the formations of pockets between the teeth and gums.  These pockets are infected by bacteria below the gums. The chemicals the body releases to combat the bacteria can damage the tissues and bones that hold the teeth in place.  It is possible for tartar to lead to gum disease that eventually causes tooth loss and/or the degradation of bone that supports the teeth.

What’s the real story?

Request a dental appointment in our Sterling dental office here: https://www.titandentalcare.com. Call us at (703) 745-3227 for more information from Titan Dental Care.

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