The dentist or hygienist scrapes off the tartar from your teeth, which wasn’t always this hard to remove. It starts as a dental plaque, which is soft and removable by brushing. But if the plaque is not removed well, then it hardens to form tartar.
Tartar could be unsightly, but it provides shelter from oral bacteria. When oral bacteria start collecting under the deposits of tartar, it gets hard for the saliva to kill them and to remove them through brushing alone. This gives the oral bacteria freedom to grow, also increasing the risk of developing cavities and gum disease.
Tartar can be removed only through professional cleanings. The dentist or hygienist uses certain tools to remove them. If you try to do it by yourself, then you might end up damaging your teeth as you need to use those tools properly.
Everyone doesn’t grow tartar at the same rate. More the minerals in your saliva, faster will the plaque harden, making it grow more quickly. Some people might get more plaque if they don’t brush twice or thrice a day, but other people might get less plaque even if they just brush once.
The minerals in your saliva make the plaque to harden in your mouth by fossilizing the oral bacteria. These minerals actually help in healing your teeth as your teeth absorb the calcium, magnesium, fluoride, and other minerals to help restore what is lost to acid in the mouth.
As mentioned above, tartar is the hardened form of plaque. So, it preserves everything that’s in the plaque, i.e., the oral bacteria and their protective biofilms and also traces of food. Some recent explorations state that there was ancient plaque found on skulls, which revealed a lot about ancient diets. It says that even people in ancient times suffered from gum disease.
To know more, call us (925) 685-9339 and request an appointment with Dr. Ewing at our office in Concord, CA.