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Everything You Need to Know About Tartar

dental assistant looking at instrumentsTartar is a common problem that affects nearly everyone at some point. As you eat and drink each day, your teeth develop a sticky substance on the surface called “plaque.” If you don’t remove this plaque quickly, it may harden into a harder material called “tartar.”

Tartar can coat your teeth enamel, work its way between your teeth and even get under your gum line. It makes brushing your teeth more difficult and can lead to bigger problems down the road.

How to Prevent Tartar

Because tartar is difficult to remove, the best treatment is prevention. You can brush away plaque before it becomes tartar. We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. You should also floss your teeth daily to prevent tartar buildup between teeth and along the gum line. If you experience a lot of tartar buildup, you can also use mouthwash to help kill the bacteria that causes tartar. Stay away from carbohydrates and foods with lots of sugar added. Drinking plenty of water and brushing your teeth between meals also keeps tartar away.

Problems Caused by Tartar Buildup

Tartar buildup leads to numerous health concerns. If left untreated, tartar may eventually cause the following issues:

  • Cavities or tooth decay. These are holes or tooth damage that allows bacteria to penetrate the tooth’s surface. Tooth decay is often painful and may lead to an infection.
  • Gum disease. If tartar gets below the gum line, it can lead to gingivitis or periodontitis, which are the clinical terms for mild and severe gum disease.
  • Tooth loss. If your tartar buildup is severe, your tooth may fall out or your dentist may recommend an extraction.
  • Infection. A tooth or gum infection is painful and sometimes a serious concern for your overall health.

How to Remove Tartar

You can remove plaque at home, but tartar is more difficult. You can’t use a toothbrush to remove tartar because the substance is too hard. Still, good oral hygiene is essential.

Schedule professional cleanings with your dentist at least every six months to remove tartar. This helps prevent cavities and other problems. A dental hygienist or dentist can use a scraper and other professional tools to remove tartar from your teeth and gums. If you have cavities, your dentist may recommend fillings or root canals to combat the problem.

Schedule an Appointment With a Dallas Dentist

Oral health is the best way to prevent tartar and other dental issues. Schedule an appointment with a Dallas dentist for a dental cleaning and exam.

Content found on this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional judgement, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please speak with a professional if you have concerns about your oral health.