He sits stubbornly on his teeth, neither rinsing nor intensive tooth brushing can help tartar. To counteract diseases of the teeth and the tooth support system, a timely removal by the dentist is necessary.
What is tartar?
Tartar, also known as calculus, consists primarily of:
- Hydroxyapatite, apatite
- Proteins carbohydrates
- Tissue remnants
Deposits of this type are common on the front incisors on the lower jaw and on the outsides of the upper molars in the upper jaw, because a lot of saliva escapes at these points. The escaping fluid has important protective and digestive functions – but in combination with poor oral hygiene, it leads to diseases.
Cause: How is the plaque created?
The reason for the formation is the inorganic composition of the saliva. These inorganic substances accumulate in plaque, i.e. in the soft coverings on the teeth. A chemical reaction occurs, and the deposits harden stubborn tartar forms.
Every oral cavity contains many germs that are part of the natural and healthy oral flora. Regular brushing of your teeth removes food residues and prevents too many germs from settling, which then uses the food components for your metabolism. Poor oral hygiene, closely and closely interlaced teeth promote the formation of plaque. The inadequate use of dental floss also leads to the faster formation of plaque and solid deposits – especially in the lower incisor area. Studies have shown that bacteria adhere to the teeth within 4 hours.
Tartar develops in four phases:
- Certain mucilage creates a thin layer over the natural tooth enamel just four hours after brushing, but it does not yet contain any bacteria.
- Food remains are the basis for the multiplication of caries pathogens in the oral cavity. These bacteria wet the thin layer of saliva.
- Over time, plaque builds up on the teeth.
- If it does not remove the plaque, it can mineralize over 8-10 days: tartar is the result.
Excursus: What is the purpose of the liquid in our mouth?
The inorganic secretion of our body serves the natural regeneration of the tooth enamel. Acidic foods such as citrus fruits regularly corrode tooth enamel. The inorganic liquid contains substances that can regenerate these micro-defects in the enamel. With the help of this, the body tries to prevent diseases such as tooth decay. If there is no adequate oral hygiene, the risk for tooth decay increases as well as for solid plaque.
Treatment: Removal of tartar at the dentist
The most important thing about removing the tartar in advance: The plaque cannot be brushed away with a toothbrush but must be removed by the dentist.
While soft deposits (plaque) can be easily removed with a toothbrush and dental floss, professional teeth cleaning, and treatment at the dentist’s only help with solid ones.
This requires the use of special devices such as curettes or ultrasound-assisted instruments. The dentist uses curettes by hand, whereas they do mechanically ultrasound. The ultrasound works via high-frequency waves and heat generation. The resulting vibrations lead to the solid deposits flaking off the teeth. The tip of the ultrasound is rounded.
Why is it important to remove tartar?
Tartar is the basis for inflammation of the gums, such as periodontal disease. If solid plaque forms in the visible tooth area, it is referred to as supragingival tartar. Tartar can also form below the neck of the tooth and thus be covered by the gums. We then refer this to as calculus or subgingival tartar.
Tartar is a cause of periodontal disease, an inflammation of the gums. Bacteria are easy and stubborn to attach to and store on dental plaque. This is followed by infections of the surrounding tissue and the entire oral cavity. Regular professional teeth cleaning and regular oral hygiene are the most effective measures to prevent periodontal disease.