Tartar Tales: Protect Your Smile

Ever wonder why your dentist keeps talking about keeping tartar at bay? Well, it’s for a good reason! Tartar, that unwelcome guest on your teeth, can lead to many dental issues, including gum disease. Let’s explore the world of tartar and uncover how it can affect your dental health.  


What is Tartar and How Does it Form?  


Tartar, also known as calculus, starts its life as plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth. When we eat, the sugars in our food feed these bacteria, producing acids. If not removed, plaque can harden into tartar in as little as 24 to 72 hours. 


Unlike plaque, tartar is tough and bonds firmly to the enamel. It usually forms below and above the gum line and can only be removed by a dental professional.  


The Journey from Tartar to Gum Disease  


The relationship between tartar and gum disease is closer than you might think. Tartar build-up creates a rough surface for even more plaque to adhere to. As this plaque accumulates, it irritates the gums, leading to gingivitis—the earliest stage of gum disease. Symptoms include swollen, red, and bleeding gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe gum disease that can damage the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth.  


Preventing Tartar Build-Up  


The good news is that preventing tartar build-up is relatively straightforward. It starts with a solid oral hygiene routine—brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash can keep plaque in check. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are also crucial, as they remove any formed tartar and check for signs of gum disease.  


Guarding Against Gum Disease  


Understanding what is tartar and its effects is the first step in guarding against gum disease. Regular dental care at home and at the dentist’s office prevents tartar build-up. Remember, a little effort goes a long way in keeping your smile bright and healthy.   


So next time you pick up your toothbrush, consider it your best defense against the sneaky creep of tartar and gum disease! Keep your smile healthy – schedule an appointment with us today.