Tartar – Symptoms, causes and treatment

Tartar is a nuisance with our teeth that we need to be aware of in order to avoid future problems. The best way to keep track of your tartar is to go on regular dental visits.

Tartar is one of our most common dental problems. Most have tartar on some of their teeth. It occurs when plaque and minerals are put together on our teeth and form a solid mass. Plaque is a bacterial coating that occurs on our teeth after meals. If the plaque is left on the tooth, it will come into contact with the salts and minerals found in our saliva. Once a tartar has formed, you cannot brush it off with a toothbrush. Tartar can be found both above and below the gum line. In English, tartar is usually called “tartar” or “dental calculus”.

Tartar can lead to tooth loss

If tartar is left untreated for a long time, it clogs to the edge of the gums. It is not possible to brush cleanly, which leads to gingivitis. Some signs of gingivitis are red, swollen, bleeding and sensitive gums. If you have gingivitis, you can contact your dentist. Usually the problems can be resolved with improved oral hygiene. Gum inflammation in turn leads to tooth loss. Since the consequences can be great in the long run, it is good to remove its tartar before it can cause problems.

Saliva and serum stones

Tartar is usually divided into saliva and serum stones. Salivate is formed near our large salivary glands. Initially, salivation is dawn and whitish, and then becomes harder and darker. Serum stones are formed in inflamed gum pockets. It sits hard on the surface of the tooth right from the start and has a darker color.

Symptoms of tartar

Tartar, for example, can show itself through discolored teeth and bad breath. Tartar is first white in color, much like a chalk, and then usually darkens in color. You can also feel that the surface of teeth further back can be rough and uneven. For more serious problems, one can feel the taste of the gum from the inflammation.

Causes of tartar

Some causes of tartar are:

  • Lack of dental hygiene. Good oral hygiene is not a guarantee to avoid tartar, but if you do not brush your teeth often enough, it increases the risk of suffering.
  • Composition of saliva. Some have higher levels of minerals and lime salts in their saliva, which increases the risk of tartar.
  • Smoking. Smoking often leads to the development of more tartar. It can also lead to discoloration of the tartar already formed on the teeth.

How to prevent tartar?

The best way to prevent tartar is to have good dental hygiene. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste morning and evening and go on regular dental visits. It is also good to use dental floss or intermediate toothbrushes to remove any coatings between the teeth. If you want extra protection you can use fluff mouthwash. Try to avoid irregular meals and small eating that trigger bacterial infestation. All these tips also prevent tooth decay (caries).

Treatment of tartar

If you have so much tartar that it needs to be treated, go to the dental office and remove it. Dental hygienists can remove tartar manually or by machine. If done manually, the tartar is scraped away with an instrument that removes it without damaging the tooth. If done by machine, the tartar is removed with vibrations from ultrasound while being rinsed with water.

Removing tartar can be considered uncomfortable by any method. It may sound awkward, but it usually isn’t painful. Removing the tartar that sits below the gumline can be a little more painful. Sometimes anesthesia is needed, especially if the tartar is in deep pockets in the gums. The treatment usually ends with polishing the teeth slightly to smooth them out. You may be a little sore around the gum line for a day after removing the tartar, but it usually goes over quickly and within a week you usually don’t notice that you did.

When should you seek care?

If you have:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Noticeable amounts of tartar on the teeth

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