Why do I get tartar so easily?

Everybody has some amount of plaque and tartar that build up on their teeth, but some people are more predisposed to plaque and tartar proliferation than others. While plaque and tartar are often referred to together, they’re not the same thing. Plaque is a naturally occurring, sticky bacterial film that adheres to the teeth, coating the gums and teeth as the bacteria is fed by carbohydrates and sugars in foods and drinks.

Plaque develops almost constantly and can be removed with regular brushing and flossing. When it’s not properly cleared away, however, plaque that remains on the teeth calcifies and becomes tartar. Rough, porous tartar creates an optimal surface for the accumulation of additional plaque and can interfere with effective brushing and flossing; this means that existing tartar easily encourages additional tartar, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease while contributing to a stained, flawed smile and chronic bad breath.

There are a few different factors that contribute to an increased susceptibility toward plaque and tartar, the most common of which is inadequate or ineffective oral hygiene. The buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth is most frequently a result of inadequate, ineffective oral hygiene habits, and a routine of brushing at least twice daily and flossing daily can make a big difference in the management of plaque and tartar.

Because oral bacteria is fed by the sugars in foods and drinks we consume, snacking throughout the day also contributes to the growth of plaque and development of tartar. While it might not be realistic to brush and floss each time you eat, using an antibacterial mouthwash after snacking can help manage the amount of plaque that forms on the teeth.

Of course, maintaining a diet low in sugars and refined starches can help reduce the amount of plaque the forms in the first place. People with crooked teeth are more prone to plaque and tartar buildup, as the abnormal spaces between these teeth are often harder to clean and therefore more likely to trap food debris and breed bacteria and plaque. The shape of the teeth can also contribute to the accumulation of plaque and tartar, especially if there are deep grooves on the teeth that are more welcoming to debris and bacteria.

Certain conditions and habits also increase the likelihood of plaque proliferation, which can lead to tartar buildup. Dry mouth contributes to plaque buildup and can be a result of certain medications or medical conditions, and people who smoke or use tobacco are more prone to plaque and tartar buildup. If not thoroughly removed, tartar can contribute to chronic bad breath, infections in the soft tissues of the oral cavity, dental cavities and abscesses, and gum irritation and disease. When gum disease isn’t intercepted early, it easily develops into periodontal disease, which can cause tooth and bone loss and comprehensively destroy the tissues inside the oral cavity.

The best defense against tartar is to keep it from forming and proliferating in the first place, and the best way to do this is to adopt a healthy oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing at least twice daily with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and flossing or using an interdental cleaner to clean between the teeth and along the gum line at least once a day. It also includes regular trips to the dentist for checkups and professional cleanings. When combined, these two important elements of effective oral hygiene can help keep tartar buildup to a minimum and help keep your smile healthy and clean.

How do you get rid of tartar