Ask dentists about a common dental problem, and they will name plaque and tartar. This article covers the following valuable information about plaque and tartar:
- What is Plaque?
- What is Tartar?
- What is the Difference between Dental Plaque and Tartar?
- What are the Symptoms of Dental Plaque?
- What are the Symptoms of Tartar?
- What Dental Problems are caused due to Plaque and Tartar?
- How to Remove Plaque and Tartar from Teeth?
- Other Relevant FAQs
These details will immensely help you to avoid many oral health problems.
What is Plaque?
Dental plaque is a sticky film on your teeth. It is formed when outside sugary or starchy food comes in contact with bacteria inside your mouth. Everyone has plaque on teeth and gum line, which gets removed daily through brushing and flossing.
What is Tartar?
Tartar is also known as calculus. When you don’t follow the oral hygiene of brushing and flossing daily, the plaque is not removed from your teeth. When dental plaque sits for a long time on teeth, it reacts with the minerals of your saliva and forms tartar on your teeth and gum line.
What are the Key Differences between Dental Plaque and Tartar?
Following are the key differences between dental plaque and tartar:
- Plaque is a fuzzy layer, while tartar appears to be a yellow and brown hard layer.
- The plaque develops daily due to eating and drinking stuff filled with sugar and carbohydrates. Tartar is formed by plaque which stays on your teeth for a long time and gets hardened.
- You can remove plaque daily from your teeth by brushing and flossing. On the contrary, you need a dental professional for tartar removal.
Get Regular Dental Check-ups to Ensure That Your Teeth are Free from Plaque or Tartar
What are the Symptoms of Dental Plaque?
Following symptoms indicate the presence of plaque on teeth:
- Swollen and red gums
- Tender gums that bleed after brushing
- Foul odor coming from the mouth
- A fuzzy layer over teeth
What are the Symptoms of Tartar?
You can spot tartar on your teeth by looking for the following symptoms:-
- Red gums also get swollen and bleed sometimes.
- Teeth getting loose.
- Bad breath.
- Dark staining and hard deposits on the surface of the teeth.
Contact Your Local Dentist in Salem, MA Now if You Have Any of These Symptoms
What Dental Problems are caused due to Plaque and Tartar?
These are the potential oral health hazards of letting the dental plaque and tartar build up on your teeth.
- Gum disease or gingivitis
- Tooth infection/abscess
- Severe gum infection which sometimes also get linked to heart disease
- Tooth decay and loss
- Bad breath
How to Remove Plaque and Tartar From Teeth?
Prevention is better than cure! The following tips guide you on getting rid of dental plaque and tartar and also on preventing the build-up.
- Brushing twice and flossing once a day is a sure way of plaque removal on a daily basis. You can opt for an electric toothbrush which cleans better than the usual toothbrush.
- Water irrigation also controls the generation of bacteria in your mouth.
- Get a dental cleaning twice a year as a dental professional can only help you with tartar removal. Also, the build-up can be spotted early in regular cleaning.
- Limit snacks with a high quantity of sugar and cholesterol as they are more likely to generate plaque on teeth.
- If your teeth are prone to cavities and nothing else helps you, you may ask your dentist to get you dental sealants. It’s a thin coating applied on your molars that prevents your teeth from cavities.
How Common is Plaque?
Everyone has a plaque that gets cleaned daily by brushing and flossing. You may have accumulated plaque if you feel a fuzzy layer on your teeth while running your tongue over them.
Who is More Likely to Get Plaque?
Excessive plaque can develop on people’s teeth who indulge in sugary, starchy, and fatty food. Smoking, anti-depressant medication that causes dry mouth, and radiation also lead to plaque on teeth.
How do I know if I have Plaque?
A fuzzy feeling on your teeth when you run your tongue over your teeth indicates plaque. You can also look out for the symptoms mentioned earlier in this post.
How Does Plaque Appear on Teeth?
The dental plaque looks like a yellow or pale layer on your teeth. You can first spot it between the surfaces of teeth. If not removed, it gradually progresses all over the teeth and around the gum line.
How Does Tartar Appear on Teeth?
Tartar is a layer of yellow-brownish substance on your teeth that is harder than the layer of plaque.
How Often Should Tartar be Removed?
When you spot tartar on teeth, you should get it removed immediately to save your oral health. Only a professional knows how to remove tartar from teeth. Therefore you should go for professional dental cleaning every 6 months to eliminate the formation of plaque or tartar on teeth.
Who Needs Dental Cleanings More Often?
People who smoke, consume sugary & starchy food, take anti-depressants, or have a history of radiation are more likely to form tartar on teeth. Therefore they should go more often for dental cleaning.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
You should contact your doctor once you spot early signs of tartar or plaque accumulation on teeth, such as a yellow or brownish hard layer on teeth, tender gums, bad breath, swollen and bleeding gums. The more problematic symptoms include facial swelling, loose teeth, and toothache.
The Bottom Line!
Excessive plaque and tartar on your teeth can bring havoc to your dental health, but they are pretty much in your control. You can keep them at bay by maintaining proper oral hygiene, leading a good lifestyle, and getting 6 monthly professional dental cleanings.
Visit Coral Dental Care, your local dentist in Salem,MA, for a regular dental check-up to prevent oral health issues like plaque and tartar on teeth.
Dr. Anu Isaac, DMD, runs a successful dental practice in Salem, MA. Dr. Isaac strives for quality on a daily basis and this commitment to quality is reflected in her constant pursuit of advanced training. Her firm belief that even experts need to stay updated about what’s new in the dental field, enables her to provide every patient with optimal oral care. As the founder of Coral Dental Care, she is dedicated to creating healthy, beautiful smiles for her patients and also to educating dental and non-dental community with her engaging articles on all things related to oral health,recent dental innovations, and latest treatment modalities.