The accumulation of dental tartar on gums and teeth is one of the most common oral problems among the population. It is often associated with oral diseases such as caries or lousy breath and affects the aesthetic level depending on each patient’s situation.
This accumulated debris hardens over time on the surface of the teeth, indicating a complete lack of hygiene or insufficient oral hygiene. Although it can be easily treated in the clinic, it is always preferable to prevent tartar formation at home using the most suitable oral hygiene products and accessories.
It is common for dental biofilm calcification to accumulate at the edge of the gums or in interdental spaces where brushing does not reach. Not only does it affect the integrity of the teeth, but it can also alter the health of the gums, irritating them and causing bleeding and infection. Annual deep cleaning of teeth is the key to preventing this type of tooth and gum disease(untreated dental decay). Unfortunately, many people are scared of going to the dentist.
What Is Dental Tartar?
Tartar is an accumulation of plaque and minerals from your saliva that harden. Tartar can coat the exterior of teeth and invade below the gumline. Tartar feels like a crusty blanket on teeth. Because it’s porous, food and drink can easily stain tartar.
Tartar deposits often settle behind and in between teeth and appear yellow or brown. Tartar, and its precursor, plaque, can both wreak havoc on your dental health.
Dental tartar, also known as dental calculus, is a solid structure formed by mineral deposits on dental biofilm.
The appearance of tartar is mainly due to insufficient oral hygiene. And although it may seem that proper oral hygiene is being carried out, the truth is that this problem is very common among the population.
What Are The Consequences of Tartar on The Health of Teeth and Gums?
The first negative consequence of tartar on the teeth is an aesthetic problem. Excessive tartar build-up dulls the smile, with yellowish stains on the teeth and gum line.
Tartar also favours the adhesion of dental biofilm. It accelerates the process of tooth decay, causing various oral health problems.
These conditions can lead to mild gum diseases such as gingivitis. Gingivitis causes irritation, swelling, and redness in your gums. It can also cause your gums to bleed when brushing or flossing them. While you can treat diseases like gingivitis with brushing, flossing, antiseptic mouthwash, and regular cleanings from your dentist, they can also progress into more serious illnesses if left untreated, such as periodontitis.
Diseases like periodontitis can cause severe damage to the gum tissue and teeth, leading to infection and tooth loss. Periodontitis is common but largely preventable. It comes from poor oral hygiene and can be avoided by brushing twice daily, flossing frequently, and getting regular dental checkups.
Since plaque is the most common cause of tooth decay, it’s only natural that tartar causes tooth decay. When tartar is formed on the teeth, it increases the surface area on which the bacteria can stick and grow. In addition, tartar makes it harder to clean your teeth, promoting further decay. Unless the tartar is removed, the tartar will continue to damage your teeth and create cavities.
It should also be noted that the formation of tartar on the teeth is related to problems of halitosis or bad breath. The accumulation of food debris and bacterial plaque produces a bad smell, typical of poor oral health.
Visiting your dentist for regular checkups is perhaps the best way to prevent and treat halitosis. During a routine cleaning, the dentist will remove hardened tartar and check for signs of gum disease. Filling cavities and repairing broken teeth will make your mouth less hospitable to harmful bacteria.
How to Avoid Tartar Buildup
Unlike plaque, which can be removed by regular brushing and flossing, tartar can only be removed by a dentist once it is formed. That’s why it’s essential to remove plaque regularly to keep your teeth clean and cavity-free. Here are a few ways you can prevent tartar buildup:
Brush regularly, twice a day for 2 minutes at a time. A 30-second scrub twice a day won’t remove plaque or prevent tartar. Use a brush with soft bristles that is small enough to fit into your mouth. Include the hard-to-reach surfaces behind your teeth and on your rear molars.
Clean Interdental Spaces
While brushing is crucial to oral health, it cannot do the job of keeping your mouth tartar-free alone. You must floss at least once daily to remove the stuck food particles and plaque deposits between your teeth. If you aren’t sure about the right way to floss, you can read our post on the subject. You can also use an interdental brush like Thermoseal Proxa to clean the gaps between your teeth.
Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash
Properly cleaning between the teeth involves more than brushing alone. It is essential to also use dental floss and, in many cases, interdental brushes. This should be carried out at least once a day. The time of day flossing is not essential, and it is best to find the time when you are not in a rush and can clean thoroughly.
Use a Tartar Control Toothpaste
There are many tartar control toothpaste on the market, most of which contain fluoride.
Many ingredients are used in toothpaste to help prevent the buildup of tartar on the teeth. Chemical compounds, including pyrophosphates and zinc citrate, are often added and proven effective. Additionally, some tartar control toothpaste contains an antibiotic called triclosan, which kills some of the bacteria in the mouth.
Specific toothpaste containing multiple anti-plaque agents has been demonstrated to be even more effective at tartar control than varieties with only one plaque fighter.
Biyearly Dental Visits
Most people visit their dentist only when there is something wrong with their teeth or gums. However, you should make an appointment with your dentist every six months regardless of any oral health problems.
During the visit, your dentist examines your teeth and gums to see if there are any causes of concern. Regular appointments allow you to take corrective measures early on and prevent severe damage to your mouth.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
In short, all of the foods that were consumed had a significant impact on the health of your teeth and gums.
Sugary (and even starchy) foods can hide in the small cracks between your teeth and cause decay, inflammation, and tenderness, while sharp, crunchy foods can create small tears in the mouth and gums, causing bleeding in the gums and infection.
Now that you know why tartar is terrible for your oral health and how to avoid its buildup, you can make the right choices to improve your oral health.
Professional Removal of Dental Plaque and Tartar
The prognosis of leukoplakia depends on various factors and is generally considered harmful If it manifests in males if the lesion is present for a long duration, if the affected is a non-smoker, if leukoplakia is located on the tongue or floor of the mouth, if the size is greater than 2 cm and the lesion is non-homogenous In the absence of dysplasia, excision is not mandatory. However, the patient should be under continuous surveillance and evaluation every 6 months.
Re-biopsy of suspicious areas should be done whenever necessary.
The use of antioxidant nutrients like Vitamin A, C, and E, beta carotene, and a diet high in antioxidants – fruits and vegetables are recommended.
Leukoplakia with mild dysplasia is managed according to its size and response to conservative measures like habit cessation.
For moderate to severe dysplasias, excision should be done if feasible, although several studies report that surgical excision does not reduce the risk of recurrence of the patient developing carcinoma.
Grafting procedures may be necessary after large excisions.