So, What IS Calculus on Teeth?
Your teeth are a vital part of your body as they are what helps you eat and gets nutrients. Digestion starts in the mouth with your teeth chewing and saliva. That is why it is important to care for them. What kinds of things do you have to be worried about though? Well, most people have heard of plaque, but may not be familiar with much else. This article is going to look at the next step of plaque, while answering the question: What is calculus on teeth? After reading, you will know what calculus is, and how to reduce it. You will also learn the steps to take once it does form, and learn why it is important to have it removed.
Difference Between Plaque and Calculus
So now we can get into what calculus is. It helps though to know what plaque is though, so you can understand the difference between the two and see the logical progression of how calculus is the next stage of plaque. Plaque is a colorless sticky film that builds up on your teeth. In this film is bacteria that eats away at the bone of your teeth. This can lead to cavities. Plaque, however, can be removed by brushing regularly.
Calculus, on the other hand, is when the plaque on your teeth hardens. It hardens thru a precipitation process with minerals and your saliva. There are a few different types of calculus depending on the minerals that are in what you eat and how they mix with your saliva. All calculus though mainly consist of calcium phosphate crystals and they are just arranged in different ways. This hardening process kills the bacteria but creates a surface for more plaque to form easily. The surface of calculus is rough and is visible on your teeth because it can get stained and has minerals in it. Since it is hard, it cannot be removed by brushing. You have to go to a professional to have it scrapped off with their dental instruments.
Damages that Calculus can cause
So now that you know what calculus is, we can look at to the different negative effects that it can cause. The first obvious bad thing is that it looks bad. No one wants yellow and brown crusty stuff on their teeth. Also, it can lead to bad breath which no one wants either. These are just minor problems though. The worst thing that calculus can lead to is gingivitis. This is a health issue with your gums that can cause many problems.
Gingivitis can lead to receding gums which then causes bone loss. It can also lead to constantly inflamed gums. If your gums are inflamed, it can make it easier for tarter to build up. Calculus can build up both along the gum and under it. If it is along the gum, then it is called supragingival, or it can form in the sulcus between the tooth and gum and then it is called subgingival. Since it creates surfaces that are easier to form plaque, you tend to get calculus build up once it starts forming.
How to remove and prevent?
The only way to remove tartar is to have an ultrasonic tool used on your teeth or the old fashion scrapper tool. This breaks the hard calculus off and removes it from your teeth. In many case, you may need to go to the dentist to have it removed. So, it’s much better to do your best to prevent it. The best prevention is to brush your teeth twice a day and to floss once a day. For added preventative measures you can use toothpaste with zinc citrate which helps prevent the chemical reaction that causes calculus. Wanna learn more about the tools available to remove plaque? Be sure to check out our article on Plaque Removal Tools
So now we’ve answered the question “What is calculus on teeth?”, and how it differs from plaque. You also know why it is bad for your teeth and gums. You should understand the basics that calculus which is also known as tarter is a harden substance on your teeth that mainly consist of calcium phosphate. This hard shell forms near the gums and can cause gum diseases. Once formed calculus has to be removed professionally, so it is best to prevent it by brushing well.