What Causes Tartar Buildup?
You brush your teeth. You floss, and use a good mouthwash. But at your most recent visit to your dentist or your hygienist you were told that you’ve got a fair bit of tartar buildup on your teeth. Even if you follow the right steps and ensure that you have a solid oral hygiene routine, it’s still possible to see a buildup of tartar on your teeth. But just what causes tartar buildup? What is tartar, and how does it get on our teeth?
An Understanding of Tartar
Bacteria is always going to be present in your mouth, even with that great oral hygiene routine you’re following. The bacteria can be controlled, but cannot be fully eliminated. While this isn’t something that you should be overly concerned about, the bacteria definitely does contribute to the overall health of your mouth.
When the saliva in your mouth combines with this naturally-occurring bacteria and food particles that are present in your mouth, they form dental plaque.
If it’s been a few hours since you’ve last brushed your teeth you can most likely feel that sticky colorless film on your teeth. That’s the plaque that is collecting and expanding as the bacteria grows unchecked.
When considering what causes tartar buildup, you’ll find that simply brushing your teeth and following the other steps in your oral hygiene routine can help you to eliminate much of the plaque and bacteria responsible for
The problem gets a bit more serious if you aren’t brushing your teeth routinely, eating a diet that’s high in sugar, or are skipping brushing all-together.
That film of plaque will start to harden within 12 to 72 hours, and once it has hardened you will find that it’s near impossible to remove at home as it bonds firmly to the surface of your teeth. From there it’ll continue to cause damage
Over time, if plaque isn’t removed on a regular basis, minerals from your saliva are deposited into the plaque biofilm causing it to harden within 24 to 72 hours, turning into tartar. And while you can remove plaque at home, tartar removal requires the help of a dental professional.
If your dental professional has mentioned your tartar buildup, don’t feel entirely alone with this diagnosis. Almost 70% of adults have some tartar in their mouth. Those hard to reach areas that we are sometimes lax about brushing are most often where the tartar will be discovered.
Tartar Risk Factors
If you’re wondering what causes tartar buildup, and is largely preventable or treatable, you’ll find that a diet that is high in sugar will definitely do its part to contribute to your increased levels of plaque, and in turn your levels of tartar buildup. There are a number of other contributing factors that can see an increase in your tartar risks, and subsequent buildup.
Dry mouth can be as a result of a medical condition, a medication that you’re taking, or simply be the result of dehydration. The problem with dry mouth is that the saliva in our mouths serves the purpose of helping to reduce and wash away debris in our mouths. Without adequate moisture, you’ll be much more susceptible to a buildup of plaque, and in return tartar.
Overcrowding of Teeth
A mouth with overcrowded teeth is a mouth that is a bit more of a challenge to keep clean. Even with brushing, flossing, and a good mouth wash, it can be difficult to get to all of the food particles and buildup between those overcrowded teeth.
Smoking can contribute to dry mouth, and can have an impact on the good bacteria in your mouth. This can, in turn, lead to flourishing of the bad bacteria that forms plaque and tartar in your mouth
Wearing braces can help to give you that straight smile, but it can also make it harder to clean between each of your teeth. With it being more of a challenge to clean your teeth and around your gum line, you’ll find that your risks for plaque and tartar buildup increase
If you’re struggling with what causes tartar buildup and how these contributing factors might apply to you, keep in mind that sometimes as we age we simply become more prone to the development of oral health concerns. Your luck of the draw with genetics can also be a contributing factor, as some folks are simply more susceptible to issues with tartar buildup and overall dental health.
In truth, sometimes there is just no way to avoid tartar buildup. What you can do is identify your risk factors and take steps to minimize them. Remember that your dental professional will have any number of tips, tools, and solutions that can help you to keep your pearly whites healthy.