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What Is Tartar Made Of?

Posted on 5/15/2024 by Weo Admin
If you have been to our dentist recently, you know that part of your dental cleaning process begins when a dental hygienist begins to scrape tartar off your teeth using dental tools. You might be wondering what tartar is and what you need to do to keep your teeth from getting tartar on them.

When Plaque Becomes Tartar

Tartar starts out as plaque in your mouth. Plaque is the reason your normally smooth teeth feel rough. It is liquid and contains bacteria and the acids that bacteria excrete. You can get rid of tartar quite easily by cleaning your teeth twice a day. However, if you do not get rid of the plaque on your teeth, it can harden and become tartar, which means you can no longer remove the material with your toothbrush and flosser.

Components of Tartar

Tartar is made of the remnants of dead bacteria that have hardened over time, along with hardened saliva. Most tartar is made of calcium, which is one of the components of teeth and bones. Unlike plaque, which only forms above the gum line, tartar can form above and below the gum line.

Dental hygienists can scrape the tartar from your teeth using dental tools. However, when tartar forms below the gumline, it can irritate and inflame your gums. This irritation and inflammation around your gum line, along with the bacteria that are always in your mouth, create the perfect recipe for gum disease.

How Can You Remove Tartar?

You cannot remove tartar by yourself. A dental hygienist must remove it using dental tools. However, if you have a lot of tartar below the gum line, you may need a deep gum cleaning. Deep gum cleanings can reach the tartar below the surface of your gums. If you have a lot of tartar buildup, you may also need additional cleaning to rid yourself of the tartar. Our dentist may also speak to you about gum disease as well, because the more tartar you have, the more likely you are to have gum disease.

If you are unsure whether you have tartar or not, we can help. Call our office today to make an appointment with our dentist.

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