Plaque vs. Tartar: What’s the Difference?

Dental plaque and dental tartar are two dental problems that can affect people of all ages. Both dental plaque and dental tartar can cause tooth decay and gum disease if they are not removed regularly through brushing and flossing. They are common issues. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, oral diseases affect around 3.5 billion people globally.

1. What are Plaque and Tartar?

Dental plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth when bacteria in the mouth mix with saliva and other food particles. Plaque can be removed through regular brushing and flossing. Dental tartar, also known as dental calculus, is a build-up of plaque that hardens over time. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional through a process called scaling.

2. What Causes Plaque and Tartar Build-up on Teeth?

There are many different factors that can contribute to plaque and tartar build-up on teeth. Poor dental hygiene, a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates, smoking, and dry mouth are all common causes of dental plaque and tartar.

3. How Can You Prevent Plaque and Tartar from Forming?

The best way to prevent plaque and tartar from forming on your teeth is to practice good dental hygiene. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. It is also important to see your dental professional regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

4. What are the Symptoms of Plaque and Tartar Build-up?

The symptoms of plaque and tartar build-up can vary depending on the severity of the dental problem. However, some common symptoms include bad breath, tooth sensitivity, gum inflammation, and bleeding gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to see your dental professional for an evaluation.

If you are concerned about plaque or tartar build-up on your teeth, the best thing to do is to see your dental professional for an evaluation. They will be able to determine if you have either of these dental problems and recommend the best course of treatment. Concerned about your teeth? Just looking for a checkup? Call us at Mountain View Dentistry today. We’d love to help!