Plaque and calculus are two terms you will almost certainly encounter when discussing oral health and general dentistry. However, using these words interchangeably would only be somewhat accurate. Calculus is a hardened, advanced form of plaque deposited on your teeth. While you can remove dental plaque by brushing and flossing regularly, it defies the efficacy of toothbrushes and other home remedies when it transforms into calculus.
If you yearn for impeccable teeth, preventing calculus is of paramount significance. In this article, we unravel the enigma of dental calculus, shedding light on its origins, risk factors, prevention, and the dire consequences of its unchecked proliferation.
What is Calculus?
Calculus, colloquially known as tartar, emerges as a hardened, calcified deposit born from the remnants of unremoved plaque that cling to your teeth. Plaque, comprising a combination of bacteria, food particles, and saliva, is a viscous, colourless film that constantly takes shape on the surface of your teeth. Astonishingly, it can crystallise into tartar within a mere 4 to 12 hours after your last brushing and flossing session—a testament to its relentless nature.
Calculus exists in two forms:
- Subgingival: Subgingival calculus lurks above the gum line, entrenched in the concealed extremes of your tooth’s root. It is often undetectable and usually occurs in mouth regions rife with gum disease.
- Supragingival: In stark contrast, supragingival calculus stakes its claim on the visible territory of the tooth’s surface, just below the gum line.
Though having massive calculus deposits is a rarity, it remains a grim possibility. These mineralised deposits can attain sizes of 3 to 4 millimetres, especially in hardly visible areas like the molars.
Can Calculus on Teeth Be Removed?
The prospect of ridding your teeth of tartar by yourself may seem compelling, but the battle against this unyielding adversary can only be effective in the confines of a dentist’s office.
The most effective technique for most situations is scaling with an ultrasonic scaler. However, dentists may employ hand tools, including jackets, curettes, files, and cuts, to effectively clear plaque and calculus.
You should note that the task of wresting these mineral encroachments from your teeth falls squarely on the shoulders of dental professionals. Any misguided attempt at self-extraction would likely damage your enamel.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Your Calculus Cleaned?
Below are a couple of complications that can arise if you avoid the essential need for calculus eradication:
- Periodontal disease
- Gum inflammation
- Bleeding gums
- Tooth decay (cavities)
- Enamel erosion
- Reduced bone density
- Gum extractions
- Tooth loss
- Halitosis (Bad Breath)
- Teeth discoloration
- Eroded confidence in your smile
- Health complications stemming from oral infections, such as heart attacks and pulmonary diseases.
How to Prevent Calculus Formation?
Dental calculus prevention depends a lot on impeccable oral hygiene. If you stay committed to eradicating dental plaque from your mouth, then calculus formation is almost impossible.
To fortify your dental citadel, consider these vital strategies:
- Embrace the prowess of a sonic toothbrush with soft bristles
- Floss daily before brushing.
- Use antibacterial mouthwashes, but exercise caution, as they can disrupt your oral microbiome.
- Curtailing sugary indulgences removes the lifeline of bacteria that combine with sugar to form plaque.
- Seek the counsel of your dentist at regular intervals.
The Take Home
The number one strategy to protect your teeth from tartar or calculus buildup is regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. If you stick to the age-old mantra of brushing twice daily, you may never develop a calculus bridge that needs removal. However, suppose you require a calculus bridge removal or just a dental check-up in the UK. In that case, The Dental Practice UK houses the most skilled dentist Brighton has to offer, and they are ever willing to consult with you and discuss the best solutions for your oral care.
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