Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
Calcium deposits are hardened formations of dental plaque. This calcified form of plaque is also called tartar or calculus.
Calculus buildup may appear as a chalky or cakey substance piled up over parts of your teeth, particularly near the gums.
The deposits can be white, yellow, or even brown depending on:
Dental calculus starts as plaque, which is made up of bacteria and fungi that colonize the surface of your teeth.
Plaque is a type of biofilm, a sticky layer of microorganisms that bind together.1, 2 Over time, your saliva deposits minerals called calcium phosphates onto this biofilm.3 This kills many of the plaque-creating bacteria, but it also forms a new breeding ground for more plaque to form.3
The result is a buildup of calculus, which isn’t as easily removed as plaque. A professional cleaning is often needed to remove these calcified deposits from your teeth.
About 40 to 60% of calculus is made up of minerals like calcium. The rest is made up of bacteria, other microorganisms, and small particles of food and other substances.3
If you have a buildup of calculus on your teeth, you may notice:
Dental calculus can also cause your gums to become red and inflamed (an early sign of gum disease). You may notice that your gums bleed when brushing your teeth.
For getting rid of tartar or calculus, you can try:
Of these, a professional cleaning is going to be the fastest, safest, and most effective option. Dentists use cleaning instruments that can remove accumulated tartar in a single visit.4
Note that even toothpastes designed to get rid of tartar can take months to completely remove it. They’re also recommended for use with sonic toothbrushes in order to be fully effective.5
Brushing your teeth with a mixture of water and baking soda may also help soften and remove tartar over time, but it will not be as efficient as a dentist visit.
If you use baking soda, be sure not to apply it without water, as baking soda on a dry tooth surface can be excessively abrasive.6
To prevent calculus from building up in the first place, you’ll need to have a strong defense against plaque formation.
You can keep plaque from accumulating and turning into tartar by:
All of these will help keep your teeth and gums healthy and reduce the oral bacteria that form plaque.
According to Dr. Nandita Lilly, one of NewMouth’s in-house dentists, “when assessing treatment options, it is important to take a whole-body approach and consider the patient’s diet, oral hygiene, and medical history. When taking a holistic approach, the dentist can treat the disease and also prevent it from recurring.”
Dental plaque develops naturally and the calcium deposits on your teeth generally result when minerals in your saliva combine with plaque. These deposits are also referred to as calculus or tartar.
These deposits can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease by causing inflammation and allowing bacteria to colonize the area.
A visit to the dentist can get rid of accumulated tartar. You can prevent excessive tartar build-up by maintaining good oral hygiene.
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