Dental Calculus Plaque And Tartar On Teeth

Overview & Description

The best way to understand the mechanism of plaque and tartarretention on teeth is to think of plaque as sticky cement–a little likeold-fashioned library paste. But also think of this paste as loaded withbacteria. This soft material gets everywhere in the mouth. It forms readilyon the surfaces of the teeth, between the teeth, in the crevices between thegum tissue and the tooth surface, in the grooves and fissures on the bitingsurfaces of the teeth, and even on the top surface of the tongue.

The longer plaque is allowed to set, the more difficult it is toremove. In the early stages it can be brushed and flossed off the teeth.Once it has set, it is called tartar or calculus. Tartar must be scraped offthe teeth by a dentist or dental hygienist.

What is the information for this topic?

The bacteria in plaque and tartar cause major problems. Thebacterial mass is held tightly to the tooth surface and quickly turns certainfoods, such as sugars and starches, into decay-producing acid. The aciddissolves the tooth structure and causes cavities, which are also called dental caries.

Thisbacterial mass also produces irritating substances, which cause gum and bonedisease, known as gingivitis andperiodontitis.Gum disease is the most significant reason for tooth loss in adults.

Following these recommendations will help preventcavities and gum diseases:

  • Use a soft toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Askyour dental care professional to help teach you and your child how to brusheffectively.
  • Floss at least twice a day. Be careful not to injure the gums whenflossing.
  • Brush the top surface of the tongue lightly to reduce the white or graycoating which naturally occurs there. This will help eliminate some of thebacteria and helps prevent unpleasant breath.
  • Mouthwash is pleasant but doesn’t really help as much as brushing. Askyour healthcare professional for a recommendation.
  • Obtain specific oral care instructions from your dental healthcareprofessional. There are many sources of free material to help you learn thebest way to brush and floss. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Article type: xmedgeneral