Dental plaque and tartar

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When it comes to dental health, there are two issues: tartar and plaque management. It is common for dental patients to confuse teeth tartar and plaque. In our informative article below we help you understand these two and how they are related.

What is plaque?

Dental plaque is a sticky and colorless layer of bacteria that continually forms on the teeth along the gum line. The bacteria in plaque trigger periodontitis disease and cavities leading to weak teeth. Fighting plaque is a continuous part of good dental cleanliness. This layer of bacteria starts forming for about four to twelve hours after you brush your teeth

What is teeth tartar?

You have been confusing the two and now that you know about the plaque, let’s understand what tartar is. Tartar is also referred to as calculus, and it is hardened plaque; a layer that forms once plaque is calcified on the tooth. Tartar is easy to notice since it appears as yellow or brown in color on your teeth. Tartar can bond strongly with enamel making it hard to remove, and if it is not removed, it can cause gum disease.

What happens if I do not remove plaque?

Naturally, your mouth contains bacteria which mix with food remains and proteins to form plaque. Since bacteria continuously grow in the mouth, every person develops plaque. When plaque is not removed, it can cause irritation and swelling of the gums around your teeth. It also hardens to form a brown or yellow layer at the gum line.

How to prevent tartar and plaque

  • Brush your teeth regularly. Since the mouth contains bacteria, it is necessary to brush your teeth for at least twice a day and two minutes.
  • Floss daily: When food particles remain on teeth, they form plaque. Ensure you floss every day to avoid plaque and calculus from forming.
  • Visit your dentist frequently: This is so you can get expert cleanings and dental tests at least twice every year.
  • Use antiseptics to rinse your mouth: It helps to kill the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Avoid smoking: According to research use of tobacco products increases your risk of tartar.
  • Brush your teeth using toothpaste that contains pyrophosphate: Use toothpaste that also contains sodium hexametaphosphate which is uniquely made inhibit calculus, loosen and break the bonds of extrinsic stains for powerful whitening and a shielding barrier to avoid future stains.

Plaque and calculus risks

According to studies, poor oral hygiene is linked to increased risk of premature death and cancer. Therefore, brushing and flossing could lower your risk of dying from cancer.

Dental plaque may also lead to heart disease or stroke. Plaque can result in inflammation which in turn can trigger inflammation throughout the body and thus causing heart disease.

Bottom Line

Dental calculus and plaque do not affect each person in the same way; individuals differ significantly in their vulnerability and resistance. For many, these layers build up faster as they age, meaning the older you get, the more closely you have to keep watch of your dental hygiene habits. Once tartar forms, only a qualified dentist can remove it.