Tartar promotes bacterial growth in the mouth – and thus bad breath, periodontal disease, tooth decay and inflammation of the gums. But what can you do about tartar? We give useful tips.
- Tartar are solid deposits above and below the gumline and on the rough parts of the teeth.
- Tartar is formed when minerals from the saliva are deposited in the soft plaque, the plaque, and this solidifies.
- Bacterial colonies on tartar are one of the most common causes of bad breath.
- In contrast to its preliminary stage, plaque, tartar can no longer be removed with a toothbrush or dental floss.
What is tartar?
Tartar consists of solid deposits above and below the gumline and on the rough places of the teeth, especially on the openings of the salivary glands into the oral cavity. Tartar occurs when inorganic substances from the saliva, such as phosphate and calcium compounds, are deposited in the soft covering , the plaque , and these solidify. Plaque can be recognized as tartar if it cannot be removed by brushing your teeth.
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Tartar forms a very solid coating at the transition point between the necks of the teeth and the gums, in gum pockets or on the insides of the teeth, which feels rough when you run your tongue over it. Relatively young tartar is often white-yellowish, then turns more intense yellow or brownish to gray over time due to color components from food etc.
Coffee, tea, red wine or blood from damaged gums give tartar a “personal touch”. Tartar from smokers can be colored very dark by the tar from the cigarette smoke. If iron sulfide from food or bacterial metabolism is deposited in the tartar, black tartar can even develop. Black tartar is particularly common in children, but it is no more dangerous than ordinary tartar.
Plaque, tartar and tooth decay
Shortly after brushing your teeth, a first, initial biofilm forms again . This film is part of a healthy oral flora and is not yet harmful. On the contrary: it forms a protective film on the teeth from saliva, minerals and proteins and thus protects them from abrasion, acid attacks and loss of minerals. In the next step, microorganisms settle and the loose, white materia alba is created, which can still be easily rinsed off. When more proteins, minerals and sugar are stored in the materia alba, the microorganisms in the biofilm also multiply until it consists of 60 to 80 percent bacteria. Then it turns into tough plaque and can no longer be rinsed off, but only removed with a toothbrush or dental floss. In hard-to-reach areas of the teeth or if oral hygiene is neglected, the plaque can harden due to the accumulation of minerals from the saliva . These solidified deposits, which can no longer be removed by normal oral hygiene, are known as tartar.
While there are practically no bacteria under the tartar, so many bacteria live on the rough tartar surface after a few weeks of unchecked growth in this protective environment on a tooth that they roughly correspond to the number of people on earth. These bacteria can cause periodontal disease, gingivitis, and tooth decay .
Tartar and bad breath
The metabolism of bacteria in the mouth releases sulfur and sulfur compounds that smell unpleasant. A high number of bacteria in the mouth, such as those found in plaque and on tartar, is one of the most common reasons for bad breath. Good oral hygiene, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing your teeth every day, prevents tartar and bad breath.
Have tartar removed
It is difficult to remove tartar with home remedies on your own . We strongly recommend an appointment with the dentist, who will do this as part of a professional teeth cleaning .
Prevent tartar, this is how it works:
- Brush your teeth and remove plaque twice a day for at least two minutes.
- Use a toothbrush with soft to medium-hard plastic bristles and a rather smaller brush head.
- Use toothpaste with fluorides or mineral salts as these fight bacteria.
- Ultrasonic toothbrushes and the associated special toothpaste clean even more effectively than conventional tooth brushing and can even loosen tartar.
- Use dental floss once a day.
- Possibly support oral hygiene with antibacterial mouth rinsing solutions. However, the bacteria killed by this form again within half an hour.
- Have a professional teeth cleaning twice a year.