Updated: Sep 25, 2018
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is still the best way to preserve the health of your teeth and gums. Brushing your teeth regularly, flossing properly and minimising your intake of sugar-laden food and drinks are essential steps in protecting your smile.
Plaque is a layer of bacteria that naturally forms on and around your teeth. It can contribute to the formation of cavities and other dental problems. Brushing your teeth is enough to remove this substance, but if you fail to do so in time, it will eventually harden into tartar or dental calculus.
Tartar is much more difficult to remove, and brushing is not enough. When it has hardened, you need to go to a dentist and have it cleaned off. This is important; if you leave tartar alone, it can lead to a variety of other dental issues that will be significantly harder to treat. One of these is gum disease.
How Dental Calculus Affects Your Gum Health
When tartar deposits form, they create an easier place for bacteria to thrive. It eventually gets under your gum line, irritating and damaging the tissue. This can eventually create small pockets between your teeth and gums, which can cause infections and makes oral hygiene more difficult.
As you can see, the health of your gums is compromised by the proximity of tartar. Once gum disease reaches an advanced stage, it can even threaten your teeth; periodontitis is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults.
Remember, brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing can help prevent tartar from building up. It is also advisable to visit your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning and a general checkup. The more proactive you are with your oral health, the less you will have to worry about.