One of the first things every child is taught about oral health and hygiene is the importance of regular tooth brushing and flossing because tartar buildup can be extremely damaging to both the gums as well as teeth. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand what this damaging substance “tartar” is and how its buildup can be prevented. Here’s an insight into what tartar is and how it affects an individual’s oral and overall health:
Tartar: What Is It?
Even if an individual is engaged in proper and right oral hygiene practices, bacterial growth is more frequent and rapid in the mouth. The bacteria in addition to proteins along with food byproducts make up a sticky layer known as dental plaque, which coats all the teeth. Dental plaque is most obvious in regions that can’t be cleaned easily, such as the back of teeth; back molars as well as areas surrounding the gum line.
Plaque buildup is extremely damaging to the teeth. Every time an individual eats, bacteria start secreting acids that can negatively affect tooth enamel as well as result in the formation of cavities. These acids can further cause inflammation as well as infectious gum diseases. However, if plaque is constantly removed by following right oral hygiene practices, the teeth can be saved from tartar as well as serious tooth decay.
Bigger problems are experienced if plaque remains on the teeth and starts hardening. This entire process can be completed in only 26 hours. In such a case, the plaque starts hardening into tartar or calculus. Since this tartar gets mineralized onto the teeth, it becomes even more difficult to remove the dental calculus.
Tartar and Gum/Teeth Health
After tartar starts forming on teeth, it gets even more challenging for an individual to be efficient in brushing as well as flossing. In severe cases, the bacterial acids produced in the mouth have greater chances of breaking down tooth enamel. Therefore, cavities along with tooth decay start developing in the mouth.
Tartar or dental calculus that grows above the affected individual’s gum line can be particularly severe because the resulting bacterial growth tends to cause gum irritation as well as serious gum damage. Eventually, the resulting inflammation can progress into gum disease, which has severely detrimental effects to the gums as well as teeth. If gum disease isn’t treated on time, the consequences can be severe.
The mildest stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis. This is the first phase of gum swelling that results from plaque as well as tartar on the teeth. Gingivitis can generally be reversed if regular, proper and careful flossing, tooth brushings and professional dental cleanings are ensured.