I heard all about Plaque, but what the hell is Tartar?
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
People tend to confuse between the two, or think tartar and plaque are the same. Trust us – they are not! Dental Plaque is a colony of living bacteria attached to the tooth surface. Our own saliva, blood and bacterial tissue cells take part in the plaque formation. We can easily control our plaque formation by maintaining daily oral hygiene, i.e., brushing the teeth twice a day, morning and evening, and flossing in between. But still, even the most careful plaque removal regime leaves some plaque between the teeth, which after a while hardens and builds up into Dental Tartar (Calculus). So basically, tartar is a mineralized dental plaque.
Unlike plaque, tartar buildup may actually harm oral health. It facilitates bacterial colonization along the gum line, causing gum inflammation, bleeding, and in some cases can develop into a severe gum disease called Periodontitis.
Unlike plaque, tartar cannot be removed by means of daily oral hygiene. The method of mechanical abrasion employed by all toothbrushes cannot break the connection between tartar buildup and the teeth surface.
It is very important to treat tartar buildup, which normally requires undergoing a scaling procedure performed periodically by a hygienist or a dentist.
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