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Tartar, sometimes called dental calculus, is an accumulation of hardened plaque on the teeth. In this hardened form it is harder to remove than softer plaque. If you make an appointment at our dentist in Oakville, Ontario our dental hygienist will scale and polish your teeth and remove all plaque and tartar that is present.

Effect of tartar on gums and teeth

When tartar is present on your teeth it is far more difficult to affectively brush and floss the teeth. Tartar that forms on top of the gum line can be serious, as acids released that are present in your mouth along with the bacteria can far more effectively destroy tooth enamel which can then proceed to cavity development and tooth decay.

The bacteria harboured in the tartar can damage and irritate gums. A mild form of gum disease can take hold called gingivitis due to tartar and plaque present on the teeth. Gum disease in its early stages can normally be stopped as long as the teeth are brushed and flossed regularly and given a routine clean by an Oakville, Ontario dentist.

If tartar is left untouched and gingivitis is not treated, it could lead on to a type of gum disease which is particularly serious called periodontitis, where pockets are created between the teeth and gums. These pockets are more prone to infection from the bacteria underneath the gums. Chemicals are released by the body’s immune system aimed at combating the bacteria and the products the bacteria emit. This can lead to damage to the bone and tissues whose purpose is to keep the teeth fixed into place. This can sooner or later lead to the degrading of the bone and tooth loss.

What can be done to control tartar?

Use a soft bristled brush that can comfortably reach all regions of the mouth. There is some evidence that electric toothbrushes do a better cleaning job than manual toothbrushes. Next you should select fluoridated toothpaste. Typically toothpastes that contain pyrophosphates may help to prevent plaque from developing into tartar. The fluoride will assist in repairing any enamel damage too. Some toothpaste may contain triclosan which, as an antibiotic, has the ability to combat any bacteria situated in the plaque.

Flossing every day can eliminate the plaque that can stick in between your teeth and prevent the formation of tartar.