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Edmonton Dentist: Interesting Facts You Should Know About Tartar

You know that yellowish-brown stain or substance that builds up on your teeth, usually along the gum line, that cannot be simply removed by normal brushing? It is called tartar. And no, it’s not the tartar sauce that you are probably familiar with. Tartar is a substance that forms when plaque hardens on your teeth. If you’re not familiar with plaque, it is the sticky film that constantly forms on your teeth in which bacteria proliferates. Since it’s not possible to remove tartar through normal brushing, a visit to an Edmonton dentist is needed. Take note also that tartar is detrimental to oral health and can cause a lot of complications. Below are some interesting facts about tartar that you should be aware of in order to prevent it.

1. Tartar is also known as Supragingival Calculus — Edmonton Dentist

Tartar is also called as Supragingival Calculus or simply, dental calculus. To understand why it is medically called that, we have to break it down. “Supra” means “above” or “over,” “gingival” means “concerned with the gums,” and “calculus” in this context means a form of hardened dental plaque.

2. Tartar is what happens when plaque is hardened — Edmonton Dentist

If you consistently manage to not brush your teeth and let plaque linger on your teeth longer than it should, it would eventually harden over time and turn into tartar. The difference between plaque and tartar is that plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that builds up naturally on your tooth. Regular brushing and flossing can effectively remove plaque. Meanwhile, tartar is what happens when you neglect basic dental hygiene and you leave plaque to harden. It is a hard deposit that can trap stains and can lead to tooth discolouration.

3. Tartar cannot be removed at home — Edmonton Dentist

As stated above, tartar can trap stains and lead to tooth discolouration which means that it cannot easily be removed by a simple brushing of the teeth. Unlike plaque that can be removed through brushing and flossing, tartar can only be removed through an in-depth dental cleaning and exam by an Edmonton dentist.

4. Tartar has two types: Supragingival and Subgingival — Edmonton Dentist

  • Supragingival calculus: Location is above (“supra”) the gingival margin or the gum line; white, yellow in colour
  • Subgingival calculus: Location is below (“sub”) the gingival margin; brown or greenish-black in colour

5. Tartar’s best medicine is prevention — Edmonton Dentist

Tartar is actually easily preventable if you have enough discipline to practice proper oral hygiene daily. The importance of brushing your teeth is exemplified in this because if you remove plaque from your teeth early on, it fails to harden and form into tartar. If tartar is not prevented and you experience tartar buildup, it can lead to serious oral complications such as gum disease and loss of permanent teeth. Before it escalates further, you need to visit the dentist immediately for an oral cleaning and exam. If you are worried that tartar might be forming on your teeth, contact My Smile Family Dental now and schedule an appointment!

SMILE GALLERY

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