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What Is Tartar and Why Should I Care?

Heavy tartar and stain behind the lower front teeth

Our treatment assistant, Karen, shares this information with you about Tartar:

Tartar what is it?  How does it form on our teeth. How can I get rid of it? These are all very important questions .  Tartar, also known as calculus, is a hard deposit or residue that adheres to the teeth. Tartar is made up of bacteria and minerals and can range from yellow to brown in color. When left on the teeth it leads to periodontal disease. Tartar forms when plaque – the soft, sticky film that builds up on your  teeth – isn’t removed. Plaque is also made up from bacteria and food particles.

This is why brushing at least two times per day and flossing once per day is so important!

But even with the best home care, a buildup of tartar on the teeth does happen. The only way to remove the buildup of tartar from your teeth is with a visit to your dental office. A hygienist will carefully remove the tartar and stain buildup with hand instruments and sometimes with an ultrasonic scaler. This needs to be done on a regular basis.  For most people every six months is sufficient. Some people may need to have this done every three to four months if they have had or are prone to periodontal disease. The hygienist is trained to check for gum disease and will check for tartar below the gums. The hygienist  will also show you proper brushing and flossing to help with your at home care between checkups.

At our office we welcome all your questions on taking care of your teeth. To set up an appointment in our Grand Junction office, please give us a call at 970-242-3635. 

Please see the tartar on the following photos:

Gross tartar deposits have caused gum recession and inflammation
Note gum inflammation and heavy tartar

The real problem with tartar lies in the fact that once tartar forms, it is very difficult to remove and usually requires the
assistance of a dental professional to remove. Tartar makes the teeth rough and creates places for bacteria and food to accumulate leading to gum disease, periodontal disease, decay, bad breath, and more tartar!

If you would like more information our office would be happy to help! Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.  Please visit us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc) or call us if you have any questions or concerns.  You can also email our office at jmgdds@qwestoffice.net for further information.

Your friend in your oral heath care,
Karen