What Problems Can Tartar and Plaque Cause?

What Problems Can Tartar and Plaque Cause?

Any healthcare professional can tell you to brush your teeth daily, but dental professionals recommend twice-daily brushing and flossing. Good daily oral health habits revolve around both a consistent brushing schedule as well as good lifestyle choices. Combined with regular dental check-ups, the problems that you may have with plaque and tartar will be at a minimum. 

Dr. Nataly Vilderman leads our team, providing the necessary care to protect your teeth and your loved ones’ teeth from the dangers of tartar and plaque. Understanding where these compounds come from will help you understand why they’re so bad for your teeth and your overall oral health. 

What’s the difference between tartar and plaque?

Neither plaque nor tartar should be allowed to stay on your teeth, but even the best of us may have occasional issues. Plaque is a soft, white or yellow buildup on teeth that happens naturally, particularly after eating and drinking. Plaque appears along the gumline, and the bacteria that creates plaque can be found on all surfaces in the mouth. These tiny bacteria can stick together and form a film — plaque that can be brushed off of your teeth at the end of the day. 

When plaque is allowed to stay on teeth without being washed away by your toothbrush, it hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar tends to be darker than plaque and can be worse for your oral health as it is a substantial buildup of bacteria. Once you have tartar on your teeth, only a dental professional can remove it.  

What happens if I have tartar and plaque?

There is nothing unusual about having tartar or plaque. However, consistent oral care and regular dental visits can keep your tartar and plaque to a minimum. Buildup on your teeth can lead to conditions that affect your gums, which can, in turn, cause you to lose your teeth. Though it is certainly true that we can create teeth for you, your natural teeth are best, so protecting them is extremely important. 

The presence of tartar and plaque in the mouth raises the possibility of gingivitis, the first step of gum disease, or periodontitis. Gum disease can be painful and causes a number of other symptoms, including: 

Gum disease affects almost half of adults in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Without treatment, gingivitis will develop into gum disease, and you will need emergency dental care. 

What do I do to get rid of tartar and plaque?

The best way to keep plaque off your teeth is to carefully and thoroughly brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily. Keep in mind that daily good habits aren't enough to prevent gum disease and tooth loss; you will also need regular dental checkups and cleanings. Without regular checkups and cleanings, you won’t be able to clean your teeth completely or make sure that you don’t have any dangerous conditions developing in your mouth or jaw area. 

Choosing a fluoride toothpaste and the perfect flosser are important steps against tartar and plaque, but Dr. Vilderman is your most important ally. To start the year with cleaner, healthier teeth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Vilderman today, and protect your oral health. 

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