Tartar is one of the most common dental problems around and probably doesn’t get as much attention as it really deserves. Today we will talk more about this underrated dental problem and what you can do to keep it at bay.
What is it?
We all know that dental plaque is a combination of excess food and the bacteria that form in the mouth and when these combine they create this. We all know that to get rid of it it is necessary to floss and brush your teeth. Tartar on the other hand is the remaining plaque that hardens (mineralises) to form a hardish white or yellow layer. Normally you will see this at the base of the teeth, especially since this is the hardest part of the tooth to clean.
What does it do
It may seem relatively innocent and may look slightly off colour, but the reality is that if you leave it too long it can have some serious effects. Firstly it makes it difficult to clean the teeth properly and can cause tooth decay as a result of this.
Even worse than this is that tartar can irritate the gums and eventually lead to gum disease, which is a serious condition that can even cause you to lose your teeth. Tartar can also pose a risk to the softer layer of tooth (dentin) that lies below the gum line and decay here can be a serious problem.
Regular flossing and brushing are the first and most usual steps to avoid tartar buildup, however this alone may not always be enough to keep it at bay. The best way to get tartar removed is to visit a hygienist. This is a dental professional who specialises in cleaning the teeth, this is done with various tools such as hand scaling tools and other tools that use air and water to clean the teeth. Visiting a hygienist should form one important facet of your dental health plan and you should visit once a year at least.
If you do have any concerns about the buildup of tartar, feel free to speak to your dentist to come up with a strategy to make sure that it doesn’t become a problem for you.