What is Tartar?

The scientific term for tartar is ‘Calculus’, which is a type of plaque that appears on your teeth. It may appear on your teeth but can also affect your gums, in some cases very bad.  This is because tartar can appear under the gum line and affect the gum tissues.  The Calculus will give the plaque more area for it to spread on to more stickier surfaces which can lead to things such as gum disease.  This is also a cosmetic problem so if you drink a lot of tea or coffee, or you smoke or even both, then you should brush your teeth more regularly and prevent that Calculus to build up.

How to prevent Tartar

To prevent tartar, you should brush your teeth properly, making sure you clean around your teeth and also your gums, for the correct amount of time that is required.  When brushing your teeth you should use tartar control toothpaste which will help remove some, and also flossing is necessary to prevent the amount of tartar build up and cause of plaque.  Soon as the tartar appears only your dentists or hygienists can remove it.  This procedure is called scaling.  During the process of this, your dentist or hygienist will use special equipment to remove the tartar for your teeth and also above and below the gum line.

How do I know if I have tartar on my teeth/gums?

Plaque is a colourless film of bacteria, where a tartar is very easy to notice above the gumline. To notice signs of tartar, your teeth or your gums will go a yellow or brown colour. Only way possible to find out whether it is actually tartar or not.  If it is tartar on your teeth/gums then you should contact your dental surgery as soon as possible.

Causes of the Plaque

The cause of plaque happens when you have just eaten foods containing carbohydrates such as (soft drinks, raisins, cakes, candy, etc) are still left on the teeth.  Because of this bacteria that lives in your mouth then reacts to the food left on your teeth which produces acid.   This acid then destroys the first layer of your tooth ‘Enamel’ which means that you will get tooth decay.  This acid can also affect other parts in the mouth such as under your gums which causes damage to the bone which is supporting your tooth.

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