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What is Tartar?

05/01/2022

Tartar is hardened plaque that builds up on the surface of your teeth and beneath the gumline. Tartar is a hard, discoloured substance that tends to build up along the gumline and behind your teeth where it is harder to remove plaque when brushing.

Without tartar removal by a dental professional, tartar gives further plaque more surface space to grow and transform into more tartar. Plaque and tartar that is left on the teeth can cause cavities and can lead to gum irritation, which is a slippery slope to gum disease.

If tartar is left on your teeth for a long period of time, it can be very damaging to your oral health but it is also a common cosmetic issue. Tartar is a porous substance therefore it stains very easily, so people who regularly consume tea or coffee or smoke cigarettes often complain of increased staining of these areas.

What Does Tartar Look Like?

Tartar is often confused with plaque, however, they both have a very different appearance on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, pale yellow film of bacteria that covers your teeth and is easily removed with regular brushing. Tartar is a hard, rough feeling substance that is usually dark yellow, brown or plaque in colour that can be found between your teeth or under the gumline.

Your dentist will be able to easily identify if you have tartar build up and will arrange a deep-clean to remove it for you. If you find that you have tender, swollen gums it may be that you have tartar beneath the gumline that is constantly irritating the gums and causing the swelling. By removing the tartar under the gumline, this will remove the irritation and give your gums a smooth surface to reattach to.

If you are concerned about your oral health, visit your dentist. To book an appointment with a dentist in Kettering, contact us now!

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