What is dental tartar and why is it important to remove it?

Dental tartar, also known as calculus, is an accumulation of bacterial plaque on the teeth and gums that mineralizes and calcifies due to the adhesion of bacteria, saliva, and calcium, forming a hard, yellowish or brownish coating that affects both dental esthetics and dental healthThe use of these products can cause problems such as tooth decay or periodontal disease.

Tartar tends to accumulate especially in areas of the mouth near the exit of the salivary gland duct, such as behind the lower front teeth and at the back of the upper teeth.

In some cases, tartar can turn black due to certain factors, such as having a high concentration of iron in the saliva. Black tartar can appear on other parts of the teeth, but it usually affects the molars and fortunately can also be treated with proper oral hygiene and professional cleaning by a dentist.

teeth with tartar

What problems can dental tartar cause

Dental tartar can cause multiple health problems if left untreated, and it is important to know how ignoring its presence can affect your oral health.

Dental tartar also traps food particles between the teeth, which causes bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

The longer you allow dental tartar to remain in your mouth, the more bacteria will build up around it. These bacteria can begin to corrode tooth enamel, leading to tooth discoloration and tooth decay. They can also cause various gum diseases, such as lagingivitis and periodontitis, which are serious conditions that can lead to pain and tooth loss.

In addition, some studies link untreated dental calculus to other systemic problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.

How to know if I have tartar

Tartar looks like yellowish spots or dark brown streaks along the gum line or any area of the teeth where food particles accumulate.

To find out if you have dental tartar, the first thing you can do is look in the mirror. If you see discolored spots on your front teeth that do not disappear with brushing, it may be a sign of dental tartar.

You can also feel around the teeth with your tongue. Dental calculus will feel rough and abrasive, unlike a smooth surface when you don’t have calculus.

The most effective way to detect if you have dental tartar is to visit your dentist for a professional examination. Dental calculus can be difficult to see, but dentists have special tools that allow them to detect it easily.

What factors favor the appearance of tartar on the teeth?

As mentioned above, tartar forms due to the buildup of bacteria and other substances in plaque.Dental tartar is made up of minerals such as phosphorus, calcium and magnesium that come from your saliva and other sources.When saliva comes in contact with food particles on your teeth, it helps turn them into tartar.

A poor oral hygiene is the main cause of its appearance. In addition, certain habits such as smoking, some medications that cause dry mouth or excessive consumption of coffee, red wine or black tea and sugary products, also favor its accumulation.

The pH of saliva also seems to influence the appearance of tartar and dental caries: people with high levels of acidity are prone to caries. And if the saliva has a lower pH, it is more likely to develop tartar.

Can tartar be removed at home without going to the dentist?

Tartar cannot be removed at home. If you have detected tartar in your mouth, only a dentist or dental hygienist will be able to remove it completely with a profession