Been a while since you’ve gone for a dental hygiene visit in Sugar Land, TX? If so, you may start to notice signs of tartar buildup on your teeth. This dense, hard material looks like you have something forming around your gum line. Can you remove it yourself? Should you? Below is a closer look.
First, what is tartar?
Tartar, which may also be referred to as calculus, is hardened plaque buildup. Plaque occurs as a result of bacteria interacting with starches and sugars in foods. If plaque is not properly removed with good hygiene habits and regular teeth cleanings at the dentist, the material hardens into tartar. Because tartar is basically hardened plaque, the best way to negate the problem is to follow a good oral hygiene routine and eat a nutritious diet that does not include a lot of starch or sugars.
Signs You Have Tartar Buildup on Your Teeth
Tartar is relatively easy to spot and feel on your teeth. Some signs of tartar buildup include:
- Crusty areas on your teeth, usually around the gum line
- Discoloration around the gum line
- Recognizing spots where it looks like something is stuck to your teeth
- Swollen, irritated gums
- Gums pulling away from the base of the teeth
Why Tartar Buildup Should Be Removed by the Dentist
Plaque buildup is easy enough to remove with brushing, flossing, and even using a good mouthwash. However, once you have the hardened tartar on your teeth, it is not safe to remove the material on your own. The dentist uses a special drill that chips away the calculus, but they do so in a way that it does not put the enamel of your teeth at risk. Plus, it is not uncommon for tartar buildup to be below the gum line, which makes it even more tedious to remove safely. Trying to remove tartar at home with the wrong tools by scraping at your teeth can cause damage to your gums and possibly put affected teeth at risk of decay.
Reach Out to a Sugar Land, TX Dentist for Advice
Want to discuss tartar issues with a Sugar Land dentist? Reach out to us at First Dental Family and Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule an appointment.