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Your Marshville Dentist Breaks Down the Differences Between Plaque and Tartar

Home > Your Marshville Dentist Breaks Down the Differences Between Plaque and Tartar

Your Marshville Dentist Breaks Down the Differences Between Plaque and Tartar

Your Marshville Dentist Breaks Down the Differences Between Plaque and Tartar

Maintaining good oral hygiene is important in maintaining a healthy smile and preventing dental issues. With controversial topics like plaque vs tartar, it is important to understand the differences between them and be able to tackle both. Both tartar and plaque accumulate on the teeth and pose significant threats to oral health, but they differ in characteristics and potential consequences. 

At Marshville Family Dentistry, we provide dental plaque and tartar removal in Marshville, NC, to help free you from tooth discoloration, cavities, and tooth diseases. Our dentist in Marshville, Dr. Andrew Tran, understands that distinguishing between tartar and plaque is crucial for maintaining optimal oral health.

With this, we have decided to educate you on the characteristics, formation, and potential consequences of tartar and plaque on your oral health and overall well-being. 

What Is Dental Plaque?

Dental plaque is a complex biofilm that develops when bacteria adhere to tooth surfaces. Plaque formation begins with the colonization of oral bacteria on the pellicle, a thin layer of salivary proteins that covers the enamel. As the bacteria multiply, they secrete extracellular polymeric substances, forming a matrix that traps more bacteria and retains fluid.

As a result, the biofilm grows, becoming visible as a soft, colorless deposit on the tooth surfaces. If not removed promptly, plaque can become mineralized, transforming into dental calculus or tartar, which is more challenging to eliminate. Hence, the reason for dental plaque removal.

Dental Plaque Symptoms

Dental plaque symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and identifying these symptoms early on can play a pivotal role in maintaining optimum oral health. By comprehensively examining the common symptoms of dental plaque, you can better understand the significance of prevention and prompt intervention.

  • Yellowish layer on teeth: An important symptom of dental plaque is the development of a yellow or brownish layer on the teeth. This discoloration is a result of bacteria, food debris, and saliva combining to form a sticky film over the teeth. 
  • Halitosis: The accumulation of bacteria in the mouth produces volatile sulfur compounds, which emit a foul odor. This malodor is often noticed by individuals themselves or by others when speaking or breathing close to someone. To prevent this, consider visiting a dental hygienist.
  • Tooth sensitivity: As plaque accumulates and hardens into tartar, it can gradually erode the protective layer of enamel, exposing the underlying dentin. Dentin contains microscopic tubules that lead to the innermost part of the tooth, the pulp, which houses nerve endings. When exposed, these tubules can trigger sensations of pain or sensitivity to temperature changes.

You should contact us for dental plaque removal in Marshville and get rid of teeth sensitivity, tooth discoloration, and other dental issues.

Why Does Dental Plaque Build Up?

Dental plaque build-up is a process influenced by various factors. Recognizing these underlying causes is crucial in combating dental plaque and avoiding its associated complications, including tooth decay and gum disease. These factors include: 

  • Poor oral hygiene practices: Inadequate brushing and flossing allow food particles and sugary substances to accumulate in the mouth. These acids contribute to the demineralization of tooth enamel, leading to the development of dental caries or tooth decay. 
  • High-sugar diet: Bacteria residing in the oral cavity, especially thrive on sugars and use them as a source of energy. As these bacteria ferment the sugars, they produce acids that promote the breakdown of tooth enamel, enabling them to thrive and multiply. 
  • Teeth structure: The irregularity of tooth surfaces provides numerous hiding spots where bacteria can accumulate and escape regular brushing and flossing. Areas such as deep fissures, pits, and gum pockets act as reservoirs for plaque accumulation.

What Is Tartar?

What Is Tartar?

Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is an oral condition that occurs when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, mineralizes and hardens on the teeth. While tartar formation is a natural process, its presence can have various consequences for oral health. 

Dental tartar can significantly impact oral health by contributing to the development of tooth decay and gum disease. The presence of tartar provides a rough surface to which more bacterial plaque can adhere, leading to an increase in bacterial growth and the production of acid. This acid can erode the tooth enamel, resulting in cavities and tooth decay. Hence, the reason for dental tartar removal.

With these, it’s easy to debunk any plaque vs tartar myth.

Signs of Tartar

Here are some common symptoms of tartar:

  • A rough or bumpy texture on teeth: Tartar can feel rough or bumpy to the touch, unlike the smooth surface of clean teeth.
  • Gum inflammation: Tartar accumulation can irritate the gums, leading to redness, swelling, and tenderness. This can be an early sign of gum disease.
  • Gum recession: As tartar continues to accumulate, it can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, resulting in gum recession. This exposes the tooth roots and can lead to sensitivity.

Visit our dentist for dental tartar removal in Marshville and save yourself from gum recession, inflammation, while you improve your dental and oral health.

Why Does Tartar Build Up?

Dental tartar build-up is a calcified deposit on the teeth that poses numerous oral health risks, including periodontitis and gum disease. Understanding why tartar builds up is crucial for developing effective preventive measures and treatment plans. 

  • Poor oral hygiene: When individuals fail to adequately clean their teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, bacterial plaque accumulates. If not removed promptly, plaque mineralizes and hardens, transitioning into tartar. Therefore, maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine recommended by a dental hygienist is paramount for preventing plaque transformation into tartar.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Certain systemic conditions can predispose individuals to increased tartar formation. For instance, individuals with dry mouth syndrome are more prone to tartar accumulation. Reduced salivary flow in these individuals diminishes the natural cleansing effects of saliva, allowing plaque to harden and form tartar more readily. 
  • Dietary choices: Consumption of sugary and starchy foods provides ample nutrition for oral bacteria, promoting bacterial proliferation and plaque formation. The accumulation and subsequent hardening of plaque and tartar can occur at an accelerated rate in individuals with poor dietary habits. 
  • Genetic factors: Some individuals possess a genetic predisposition to produce excess calculus, or tartar, regardless of their oral hygiene practices. Genetic variations can affect the composition and viscosity of saliva, leading to an increased risk of tartar formation. 

With a clear understanding of the characteristics, formation, and consequences of plaque and tartar, it becomes effortless to debunk any myth surrounding “plaque vs tartar” and their impact on oral health.

How Do Dental Plaque and Tartar Impact Your Oral Health?

Dental plaque and tartar play significant roles in influencing one’s overall oral health. These dental nuisances are accumulations of bacteria and their byproducts that attach to the surface of teeth. Over time, they can lead to a myriad of oral health issues such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. 

Recognizing the impact of dental plaque and tartar on oral health is imperative for maintaining good dental hygiene and preventing potentially serious consequences. The following are the impacts both plague and tartar have on your oral health.

1. They Cause Tooth Discoloration

Dental plaque and tartar are common culprits behind tooth discoloration. Plaque accumulates on teeth and, over time, can lead to surface stains and discoloration. Tartar, a hardened form of plaque, can also contribute to tooth discoloration by trapping stains and making them more difficult to remove through regular brushing and flossing. 

2. They Cause Cavities

In addition to tooth discoloration, dental plaque, and tartar play a significant role in the development of cavities. Plaque and tartar contain bacteria that produce acids when exposed to sugars and carbohydrates from the foods we eat. These acids gradually erode the tooth enamel, leading to the formation of cavities.

3. They Give You Bad Breath

Furthermore, both dental plaque and tartar contribute to bad breath. The bacteria present in plaque produce foul-smelling compounds that can cause persistent bad breath or halitosis. As plaque and tartar accumulate along the gumline and between teeth, the bacteria thrive and release odorous byproducts. 

Our dentist in Marshville is ready to help and guide you in preventing dental plaque and tartar accumulation on your teeth.

Dental Plaque and Tartar Removal in Marshville, NC

Dental Plaque and Tartar Removal in Marshville, NC

At Marshville Family Dentistry, we provide dental plaque and tartar removal in Marshville, NC to help you to be free from tooth cavity, diseases, and other dental issues. With access to our professional dentist, you have the opportunity to combat these oral health concerns effectively and enjoy improved oral hygiene, reduced risks of periodontal diseases, enhanced dental aesthetics, and increased self-confidence.

To get the best dental plaque and tartar removal procedure, contact us to book an appointment to enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.

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