There are some key differences between plaque and tartar, and it’s easy for your dentist in Jupiter to tell them apart. However, how different are these two things that sound similar? Well, the truth is, they’re not that different, but they can affect your teeth in different ways.
A Closer Look at Plaque & Tartar
Plaque and tartar are similar in that they’re essentially the same thing in different stages. Plague is the sticky film that builds up on our teeth throughout the day. It happens to everyone, and it’s usually removed through morning and nighttime brushings. However, when plaque is not removed, it will harden into tartar. Both plaque and tartar can lead to other serious problems throughout the mouth.
What is Tartar?
Tartar, also known as calculus, is a hard deposit that forms on the surface of teeth. It comprises minerals, bacteria, and food debris that have combined and hardened over time. Tartar forms when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth, isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing.
How Does Tartar Form?
Tartar buildup forms when plaque is not removed from the teeth. Plaque is a thin, colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums daily. When plaque isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar in just a few days. Tartar is more difficult to remove than plaque, leading to more serious dental problems if left untreated.
What Does Tartar Look Like?
Tartar is usually yellow or brown and has a rough, bumpy texture. It can form on the surface of teeth as well as below the gumline.
What are the Health Effects of Tartar?
Tartar buildup can lead to dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Tartar buildup below the gum line can cause inflammation and irritation, leading to gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
How can Tartar be Removed?
A dental professional can only remove tartar through scaling. Scaling involves using specialized tools to remove tartar from the teeth and gums. Regular dental cleanings can help prevent tartar buildup and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
The best way to prevent tartar buildup is to practice good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash. Eating a healthy diet low in sugar and avoiding tobacco products can also help keep your teeth and gums healthy and free from tooth decay.
Tartar buildup is a common dental problem that can lead to serious dental problems if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings and good oral hygiene practices are the best ways to prevent buildup and keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you’re concerned and want to learn more about the difference between plaque vs tartar, schedule a dental appointment to clean your teeth professionally.
What is Plaque?
Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth and gums. It comprises millions of bacteria in your mouth, saliva, and food particles. When plaque isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which is much more difficult to remove.
How Does Plaque Form?
Plaque accumulates when bacteria in your mouth mix with sugars and starches from your food. This creates an acidic environment that can erode tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. Plaque also forms when saliva mixes with food particles and bacteria to create a biofilm on teeth.
What Does Plaque Look Like?
Plaque is usually colorless, but it can appear yellow or brown if it’s been on your teeth or gum line for a long time. It has a slimy, sticky texture and can feel fuzzy.
What are the Health Effects of Plaque?
Plaque buildup can lead to dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Tooth decay occurs when acids in plaque erode tooth enamel, causing cavities. Gum disease occurs when bacteria build up along the gum line, causing inflammation and irritation. Bad breath, or halitosis, can also be caused by the buildup of bacteria in plaque.
How can Plaque be Prevented and Removed?
Practicing good oral hygiene habits or brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent plaque buildup. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and using an antiseptic mouthwash. Eating a healthy diet low in sugar and avoiding tobacco products can also help keep your teeth and gum line healthy. If plaque has already formed on your teeth, it can only be removed by a dental professional through scaling.
Plaque is a common dental problem that can lead to serious dental problems if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings and good oral hygiene practices at least twice a day are the best ways to prevent plaque buildup and maintain good oral health. If you’re concerned about plaque buildup, schedule a dental appointment to have your teeth professionally cleaned. You can keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of plaque buildup with proper care.
Problems with Plaque & Tartar
We already know that if plaque isn’t removed, it will harden into tartar. But there are other ways plaque buildup can affect oral health. Plaque is made up of millions of bacteria, and as we eat, we’re fueling our bodies and feeding these bacteria.
As a byproduct, these bacteria release acid. This acid can wear down tooth enamel, leaving them exposed and at greater risk for cavities. But that’s not all. When dental plaque is allowed to harden into tartar, it can no longer be removed through at-home brushings.
Your dentist in Jupiter will need to step in to remove tartar before it can further affect oral health. Tartar has also been known to increase the risk of cavities, tooth decay, tooth discoloration, tooth sensitivity, and even gum disease. If gum disease develops, it can snowball into problems such as tooth loss and even heart disease.
How to Prevent and Remove Plaque & Tartar
The best way to prevent tartar in the first place is by removing plaque. After all, without plaque, tartar can’t form. Ensure you follow a good oral hygiene routine at home every day to reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth. Brush each morning and every night for at least two minutes, and floss at least once daily.
Outside of brushing and flossing with good oral hygiene twice a day, you can also help protect yourself from the damaging effects of plaque by eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding sugary sweets. Additionally, drink plenty of water throughout the day, limit snacking between meals, and chew sugar-free gum after meals when you can’t brush your teeth.
See Your Dentist Twice a Year
Of course, it’s always important to see your dentist in Jupiter at least twice a year to get a checkup, learn the difference between plaque vs tartar and remove any tartar that may have built up since your last visit. Your dental team may also be able to tell where tartar tends to pop up so you can pay closer attention to those spots while brushing in between dental appointments.
Plaque and tartar buildup happens to everyone, but as long as you take good care of your teeth and see your dentist regularly, your risk of developing cavities or other oral health problems decreases. If you’re overdue for a checkup, call our dental office in Jupiter to schedule an appointment and tartar removal.
Dental Procedure that Can Remove Plaque and Tartar
The dental procedure that can remove both plaque and tartar is called scaling. Scaling is a common procedure performed by a dental hygienist or dentist. During scaling, only a dental professional will use a special tool called a scaler to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar from your teeth and gumline.
What is a Scaler?
The scaler is a handheld instrument that can reach hard-to-reach areas of the mouth and scrape off the buildup of bacteria, remove plaque, and mineral deposits. The procedure may also include root planing, which involves smoothing out the root surfaces of the teeth to help prevent the future buildup of plaque and tartar.
Scaling is important to maintain good oral health and prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Getting a dental cleaning and scaling at least twice a year is recommended to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free from periodontal disease.
Do You Want to Learn More About Tooth Tartar vs. Plaque?
When it comes to oral health, your dentist should know how to deal with your problem professionally. At Jupiter Dentistry, our reliable dentists can provide quick and reliable services to help you manage your oral health. If you’re looking for an expert in general dentistry, contact our team today!