Glendale Dentist Explains Plaque and Tartar Build Up

Written by Dr. McKay on Jun 17, 2014

In the quest to keep our mouths healthy and clean, our number one enemy is harmful oral bacteria. Bacteria accumulate on the patient’s teeth, gums, and other oral tissues throughout the day and night. Whenever oral bacteria come into contact with sugars, they begin to grow and proliferate.

Our Glendale dentist office is here to help patients avoid the long-term complications of oral bacteria build up. So let’s learn more about what happens to your smile when bacteria begin to take hold.

As oral bacteria develop and accumulate on your teeth and gums, they colonize and accumulate as plaque. When we brush and floss our teeth, we clear away newly developed plaque; this is why it is so important that we clean our mouths multiple times a day.

Plaque that is left in the mouth undisturbed will harden into a substance called tartar. Tartar bonds onto the dental surfaces, and is very difficult to remove (it takes a professional dental cleaning to get rid of this calcified plaque).

Plaque is pretty much invisible on the teeth, so you have to make sure to clean your teeth even if they do not look unclean. Tartar is prone to building up between the teeth as well as along the gum line. You may notice that tartar looks brown or yellow around the edges of the teeth.

Because calcified plaque is so difficult for the patient to remove, every patient needs to complete a semi-annual dental cleaning. For most patients a cleaning every six months is sufficient to maintain dental health. Your dentist will let you know if particularities of your oral health necessitate more frequent cleanings.

As you go through your oral hygiene routine every day, remember how important preventative dentistry is to long-term oral health. As always you can contact our Glendale dentist office for additional information.