Dental Calculus: Types, Treatment and Prevention

Calculus is bacterial plaque that has formed on a specific area of your tooth, collecting minerals from your food and saliva until it hardens and is practically glued to the tooth. Dental calculus also increases the risk of cavities. Calculus cannot be removed with ease at home and a professional cleaning is advised by a NE Philadelphia dentist at least twice a year.

Patients should be aware of two fundamental forms of dental calculus: supragingival and subgingival. The discrepancy is mostly due to the calculus’s placement relative to the gumline.

  • With subgingival calculus, however, the build-up extends beneath the gumline, where it is entirely unseen and can be difficult to remove as a result.
  • With supragingival calculus, the build-up remains above the gum line and is often visible and easily removed during regular dental cleaning.

How Does Calculus Form?

Plaque hardens and mineralizes on your teeth after 2-3 days of contact, forming calculus (tartar). A high mineral level in your saliva will also promote calculus development. This hard coating, calculus, will function as a protective shield for microorganisms on the teeth. The bacteria in your mouth produce acids that tear down your tooth enamel, resulting in cavities and tooth decay. If calculus is not removed, it irritates your gums and eventually develops gum disease (gingivitis). Studies have also found that bacteria in gum disease may lead to heart disease and other illnesses.

Calculus Removal

Tartar accumulation is eliminated by a dental expert due to its strong adhesion to tooth enamel. This can be accomplished with expert cleaning, debridement, or scaling and root planing. If you do not have deep deposits and your teeth are free of bone loss or periodontal disease, the American Dental Association suggests a regular cleaning every six months. During your routine dental inspection and cleaning, your dentist or hygienist will use a scaler to remove any dental plaque, tartar, or stains from the area surrounding your gums and between your teeth.

How to Prevent Calculus?

  •         Brush twice a day
  •         Eat healthy, limit the amount of sugar you eat.
  •         Drink lots of water.
  •         Don’t smoke.
  •         Use a toothbrush with soft bristles or an electric toothbrush
  •         Use a tartar-controlled toothpaste with fluoride.
  •         Floss

People with thick calculus on their teeth that prohibits the dentist from doing a complete oral examination should undergo a debridement. Dental tartar may be broken down and removed using both manual instruments and ultrasonic technology.