Tartar is one of the biggest enemies of your teeth. If you allow tartar to form on your teeth, your oral health will suffer in many ways. This is why oral hygiene is so important. Just by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, you can keep tartar and the problems it causes at bay.
Tartar can cause various issues that affect your oral health.
1. Bad breath
Tartar is chalky and hard. This is why you can't remove it with a toothbrush or with floss. But tartar was once soft. In fact, tartar was once just a sticky film called plaque. Plaque is a sticky mess of bacteria and food particles that forms on teeth over the course of a day. In this form, plaque gives off an unpleasant odour, but you can remove that odour by brushing your teeth.
However, plaque soon turns into tartar if not removed.
2. Plaque formation
Tartar is rough. And plaque clings more easily to rough surfaces. The same is true for the oral bacteria that inhabit plaque. This means that when there is tartar on your teeth, you will likely have more plaque than someone who doesn't have tartar on their teeth.
3. Enamel erosion
Tartar is calcified plaque. Tartar calcifies because the minerals in your saliva mix with dental plaque and eventually cause it to harden. As mentioned earlier, tartar attracts plaque formation. Plaque is acidic because the bacteria that live in it excrete acids. These acids eat into the enamel of your teeth and cause enamel erosion.
If you don't do anything to remove tartar for months or years then, you risk developing cavities under and around the tartar.
4. Gum disease
Plaque doesn't just damage your teeth. Plaque also damages your gum tissue. The acidic nature of plaque gradually irritates gum tissue and, over time, causes gum tissue to recede. And the more your gums recede, the worse the issue gets, as the tartar and plaque can then spread to the area that your gum tissue used to protect.
Coupled with enamel erosion, gum disease can lead to tooth loss throughout your mouth due to gum line cavities and loose teeth. This is why you need to visit your dentist to remove plaque and tartar at least once a year.
Your dentist can remove tartar from your teeth with a dental cleaning. And if tartar has already caused one or more of the aforementioned issues, a visit to your dentist can help to correct those issues before they get out of hand.