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Posted on Jan 1, 2014 |

5 reasons to get rid of tartar on your teeth

5 reasons to get rid of tartar on your teeth

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Within a few hours after brushing, dental plaque (a pale yellow or white sticky substance) is formed by the accumulation of various species of bacteria along with sugar from the food we eat. If it remains on the teeth, it can attract minerals from the saliva and form a hard, flaky yellowish, greenish or greyish substance called calculus, commonly known as tartar. It can either form above or below the gum line and is detrimental for the health of your teeth and gums. Professional scaling or cleaning is the only way these deposits can be removed. If you aren’t convinced by the fact that they look unsightly on your teeth, here are more reasons to get an appointment with a dentist soon:

Could give you a nasty breath

Accumulation of tartar can interfere with effective brushing and flossing. This can cause food particles to remain in your mouth and promote build-up of bacteria. As you probably know, bacteria and decaying food particles are the major sources of bad breath. (Read: 9 ways to lose bad breath naturally)

Causes cavities in your teeth

Oral hygiene takes a beating when there is accumulation of tartar. This encourages the growth of cavity causing species of bacteria which convert the sugar from the food we eat into acids that demineralise and progressively break down the enamel of the tooth to create cavities in them.

It’s a threat to your gum health

The rough surface of tartar provides an ideal medium for further plaque accumulation, thereby threatening your gum health. The acids and toxins produced by the bacteria in the plaque along with the irritation caused by the hard calculus can irritate your gums and cause gingivitis. Your gums become red and swollen. They bleed easily and may also be painful to touch. If left untreated, it can lead toperiodontitis whereinthe supporting structures in the gums are destroyed.The gumsmay either recede or they may start detaching from the tooth to form pockets. There may be pus formation which could cause a foul-smelling breath. Ultimately, the bone supporting the tooth is destroyed causing the tooth to become loose and shift or be ultimately lost. (Read: How a dentist assesses your gum disease)

It affects your heart too

Tartar provides a reservoir of bacteria and causes gum disease. Studies have shown that people with gum disease have a higher risk for heart disease. Sometimes, bacteria from your infected gums can travel to your bloodstream, setting off an inflammatory reaction elsewhere in your body, including the arteries. The bacteria may also dislodge, enter the blood, attach to blood vessels and increase clot formation. This can cause hardening of the arteries and decrease the bloodflow to the heart thereby causing a heart attack.

Your baby’s health could be at risk!

By now you know that tartar can cause tooth decay and gum disease. But do you know that it does not place only your teeth and gums at stake?During pregnancy, the bacteria from the tartar and plaque can get into your bloodstream and may affect the foetus. According to some studies, severe gum disease has been linked to preterm birth and low birth weight. Severe gum disease may also rarely risk the life of your baby, says a study.