What is Tartar and How to Prevent Them?

In one of your visits to your dentist, I am sure you have heard him mention the word tartar a couple of times. A lot of people know that not brushing teeth and eating sugary foods will lead to dental decay. The big question however is how does not brushing teeth lead to dental decay? To understand the entire dental decay process, we have to look at what tartar is, where it comes from and why it is a threat to your teeth and oral health at large.

What is Tartar?

Tartar is as a result of plaque accumulating and hardening over a long period of time. Plaque is a sticky deposit which arises from food particles accumulating around teeth and is a prime hub for the proliferation of bacteria which can be dangerous to teeth and general oral health. However much you clean your teeth or floss after meal, there are crevices and certain corners in the mouth that your toothbrush or floss will not quite reach and this is where plaque starts building up. Plaque builds up in the margins and spaces between teeth and gums and over time, it hardens and becomes tartar which is even harder to get rid of.

The tartar builds up under the gum and causes gingivitis where the gums are swollen, red and will bleed when you are brushing your teeth. This is the first sign that you have large tartar deposits in your mouth and you should get the same professionally removed by a dentist.

Threats of tartar

Tartar in teeth is no child’s play. Once tartar forms, it can be more difficult to brush and floss your teeth effectively. The acids released by the bacteria in your mouth are more likely to break down your tooth enamel. That leads to cavities and tooth decay – one of the most common health complaints in the world. Tartar that develops above the gum line can be especially serious. That’s because the bacteria it harbours can irritate and damage gums.

Over time, this inflammation can lead to progressive gum disease, which can have serious consequences if left untreated. The mildest form of gum disease is called gingivitis. This is the initial stages of gum inflammation caused by the presence of plaque and tartar on the teeth. Gingivitis can usually be stopped and reversed with careful brushing, flossing, and regular cleaning by dental professionals.

If tartar is not removed and gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis, whereby pockets form between the gums and teeth. Those pockets become infected by bacteria beneath the gums. The body’s immune system releases chemicals to fight the bacteria, which, along with the substances the bacteria release, can damage the bone and other tissues that hold the teeth in place. This can ultimately lead to tooth loss and bone degradation. In addition, studies have shown that bacteria in gum disease may contribute to heart disease and other conditions. Sounds scary doesn’t it? Well, luckily enough you can control this before it goes overboard. Here are important tips to help you get rid of tartar and stay safe

Clean your teeth properly

Don’t just brush your teeth for the sake of it. Brush your teeth properly using the appropriate toothbrush. Opt for a toothbrush with soft bristles and is small enough to reach all the areas of your mouth. Brush thoroughly and clean your tongue as well. Make sure that you floss immediately after every meal as well. Flossing gets rid of the remnants that your toothbrush simply can’t reach. Flossing will prevent the development of tartar and render your mouth clean.

Watch your diet as well. Sugary foods provide nourishment to the bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria are part of the tartar and will affect your teeth. Make sure that you properly rinse your mouth with clean water after every meal. Water flushes the food remnants hence minimizing the chances of tartar building up.

Avoid alcohol and smoking as well. They have been found to accelerate the hardening of plaque and hardening of tartar. People who smoke or use tobacco products for example are more likely to develop dental calculus on their teeth more than people who don’t.

Visit a dentist and get the dental tartar professionally removed. Once tartar has formed, it is important to realize that only a dental professional will be able to remove it. Make sure you visit your dentist or hygienist regularly as advised by your dentist to remove any tartar that might have formed and prevent further complications.

If you are in Katy and are struggling with tartar and are looking for the best family dentists to help you get rid of the tartar, look no further than Vita Dental care. We have the best equipment and professional dentists who will work tirelessly to ensure that your mouth is clean and free from tartar. Make the call today and stay clear of tartar.