What are they?
Calculus or Tartar is commonly called as hard deposits on the teeth.
How are they formed?
A layer of dental plaque which is a biofilm forms on the surface of teeth within minutes after brushing.
If you do not brush off this surface properly from the tooth surface, the calcium in the saliva and gingival crevicular fluid starts getting deposited into this layer and forms calculus.
Dental plaque is colorless but dentalcalculus is yellow to brownish in color.
It is a hard deposit which cannot be taken out with brushing.
What are the effects of calculus?
Since the surface of calculus is rough and porous it deposits more of saliva and bacterial flora present in the mouth.
The gums are irritated with the calculus and they start getting inflamed and moving away from the calculus.
So you will see gingival recession and bone loss
With gingival recession, more of root surface is exposed into the mouth and since root surface is not impervious to oral fluids sensitivity becomes an issue.
If left untreated for long you will see bone resorption and mobility of teeth
What to do?
You need to get a regular bi-annual round of oral prophylaxis and polishing by a dentist.
Dentists use ultrasonic scaling instruments and hand scaling instruments which remove the deposits and stains on the teeth.
Do teeth get sensitive after scaling?
No the ultrasonic cleaner only removes the hard deposits on the tooth surface and does not damage surface enamel so it does not cause sensitivity.
How to prevent tartar formation?
Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss your teeth at least once at night. One can use tartar control tooth pastes.
However, once tartar is formed it is to be professionally cleaned by a dentist
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