Regular at-home brushing and flossing, along with teeth cleanings from your dentist, can prevent many oral health concerns, including tartar formation. Advanced tartar buildup can cause severe oral health problems, which have the potential to affect a person’s overall wellbeing. When teaching tartar control, your dentist may discuss the following concerns:
Plaque is the precursor to tartar. No matter how diligent you are in your teeth-cleaning regimen, your mouth will always contain bacteria. When these bacteria have the opportunity to combine with proteins and food byproducts, they form a sticky film on the teeth, which is plaque. Plaque is typically more prevalent in hard-to-brush areas like the molars, around tooth fillings, and along the gumline. When left to build up in the mouth, plaque releases acids that can damage tooth enamel and inflame gums. After just 26 hours, plaque can harden and become tartar, which presents a new set of problems.
Tartar buildup cannot be easily removed like plaque. Because of this, it compromises the benefits of brushing and flossing. The bacteria in tartar damage tooth enamel, which can eventually lead to tooth decay. Tartar that forms beyond the gum line is especially dangerous, as the bacteria will irritate and destroy gum tissue. This may lead to gingivitis and, in severe cases, periodontitis.
The bacteria that attack tooth enamel will compromise its strength and durability. Once the bacteria eat through the outer layer of enamel, tooth decay results. When cavities occur, they leave the tooth vulnerable to infection and more severe damage. In a best-case scenario, a dentist may be able to save the tooth structure and administer a filling. More serious cases require crown coverings. The most severe cases of tooth decay will necessitate a root canal or full tooth extraction.
If you suspect that you may have tartar formation on your teeth, Charles M. Marks, D.D.S. and Dental Associates can help. Our team of highly qualified dentists offers a full range of oral health services. Whether you need a teeth cleaning, teeth whitening, or another dental service, call our Manhattan office today at (888) 803-3767.