Despite our best efforts (or perhaps not), plaque and bacteria can build up on the surfaces of your teeth that feels fluffy or fuzzy when your run your tongue over it. Plaque is constantly forming on our teeth despite our attempts to remove it, but too much of it and failure to remove it can actually lead to some rather worrying dental diseases that need a professional’s attention. Does a dentist remove plaque and tartar, and can anything be done at home?
The difference between plaque and tartar
Plaque is actually the substances that forms first, and then it hardens into tartar. They’re closely interlinked, but tartar is a little more serious than plaque. It’s almost impossible to completely eradicate plaque because our mouth is the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria: wet, warm, and with a steady supply of food. Plaque ushers in gum disease, because it can rest atop the gum line and irritate the soft tissue. Tartar occurs when the plaque isn’t removed or cleaned away. It hardens onto your teeth and irritates your gums further, potentially leading to tooth loss and very severe gum disease. It’s also not pleasant to look at and can smell foul too.
The signs of gum disease to look out for
- Bleeding gums, most notably when you spit out toothpaste foam
- Loose or wobbly teeth
- Gum recession, when the gums pull away from the base of your teeth
- Bad tastes, which may be the bacteria and their foul-smelling toxins
- Bad breath, which is cause by the same bacteria
- Increased tooth sensitivity, such as to hot and cold temperature and touch
- Red, angry, and swollen gums
How to prevent plaque build-up
Make sure you floss once a day and brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste with added fluoride. This will help remove plaque from the surfaces of your teeth and from between the hidden surfaces, also helping to prevent gum disease. Use an antiseptic mouthwash to help neutralise and kill the bacteria in your mouth that contribute to plaque build-up. You should also visit your dentist and dental hygienist for regular professional cleanings and assessments to help you maintain your dental health at home.
How to remove tartar
Tartar is actually very difficult to remove. In fact, it can’t actually be removed at home or scrubbed away with a toothbrush. Because it has hardened and solidified, it can’t be budged with just a brush and good intentions. Tartar removal needs to be carried out professionally from within a dentist’s office and by a dental hygienist. Your dentist and dental hygienist have been specifically trained for professional plaque and tartar removal, which may actually help lighten the stains on your teeth as well, so if you’re worried about unwanted build-up on your teeth you should make an appointment.
Dentist in Nottingham
Plaque hardens into tartar and neither are great for your teeth, but luckily home and professional removal is available. Get in touch with Arnold Dental, your trusted dentist in Nottingham, to book your initial dental appointment on 0115 9200571 today.