Tartar is the common term for dental calculus, which is a cement-like, crusty, yellow buildup that deposits on teeth, especially around the gumline, and can only be removed by a dental professional with special tools at the dentist’s office.
Not only does tartar cause discoloration, but tartar formation also makes it easier for plaque and bacteria to build up because its rough surface acts as a foothold, increasing your chances of decay and gum disease. Susceptibility to tartar varies among individuals, but what is confirmed is that that it builds up more easily the older we get.
Regular Removal is the Key
When your saliva and plaque combine, the minerals contained within form crystals that harden and become tartar. So, it is important to remove plaque before this can happen by thoroughly brushing and flossing, and using a plaque-fighting mouth rinse. Once tartar has formed, it can only be completely removed by a dental professional (hygienist) using scrapers and scalers to get at the tartar above and below the gumline. Then, using another tool and a slight abrasive, they will polish the surface of the tooth to make it more difficult for plaque to adhere again.
If you need tartar taken off of your teeth, call Dr. Catherine Boenitz and our helpful team at Bee Family Dentistry. Phone: 210-690-9430. Make an appointment or come by our office in San Antonio, Texas.