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What is the difference between dental plaque and dental tartar?

28th April 2021 | 0 comments

You hear these terms from the dentist and hygienist, but do you know the difference between dental plaque and dental tartar?

Everyone has bacteria in their mouth.  Dental plaque is a soft, sticky film that forms on the teeth from an accumulation of bacteria.  It is the cause of the majority of dental problems that patients experience.

The level of dental plaque in your mouth can be minimised by good oral hygiene, i.e. brushing your teeth at least twice a day and interdental cleaning, and by limiting your consumption of sugary food and drinks.  Frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks fuels the bacteria in dental plaque to produce acid which if left unchecked can ultimately lead to tooth decay.  The presence of dental plaque is also a significant factor in periodontal disease (gum disease) which is the number one reason for tooth loss.

Over time if the dental plaque is not removed, it will eventually calcify on your teeth.  This is dental tartar or calculus.  The formation of dental tartar makes it more difficult to effectively clean your teeth and to remove dental plaque.  Dental tartar is also a significant contributing factor to gum disease.   The removal of tartar/calculus from teeth requires professional cleaning with a dentist or hygienist.

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Seeing your dentist and hygienist routinely is essential to help monitor the effectiveness of your daily oral hygiene routine, to remove dental tartar, and to spot dental problems early.  If you have not had a dental examination or a dental clean recently, give our reception team a call on 01489 572308 to book an appointment with one of our lovely dentists and hygienists.

 


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