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An Essential Guide on Calculus

Posted on 7/4/2022 by Evan
An Essential Guide on CalculusOne of the main reasons why people hide their smiles is because of yellow teeth. Although it is still a debate how white teeth should be, many people's teeth become yellow because of calculus accumulation.

Not only do teeth with calculus have an unpleasant appearance, but they also are at high risk of gum disease which can lead to a plethora of other health issues.

What is Calculus?

Calculus is also known as tartar and forms when plaque accumulates and hardens on your teeth. Plaque is a biofilm that starts to form on your clean teeth within 24 hours. If you do not brush and floss your teeth every day to remove this thin layer of plaque, it will calcify in two or three days, turning into stubborn calculus.

Calculus has a hard surface and provides more surface for the bacterial plaque to stick to. More plaque means more cavities and more risk of gum disease. Therefore, your first priority should be to ensure plaque does not have the chance to harden onto your teeth.

People who smoke or drink caffeinated drinks are more at risk of plaque since they are more susceptible to stained teeth which can provide a better surface for bacteria to stick.

Types of Calculus

There are two types of calculus: supragingival and subgingival.

Supragingival calculus forms along and above the gum line and can be seen as a yellow or tan deposit on the surface of your teeth. On the other hand subgingival calculus forms below the gum line in the pockets between your gum and teeth. This plaque may be brown or black in color and is not visible to the naked eye unless your gums have already started to recede.

How Can Calculus Be Removed?

Once formed, calculus cannot be effectively removed at home. At Rogue Valley Dental Center, Dr. Taucher and Dr. Burnham will clean your teeth and gums via a debridement process.

We will use an ultrasonic device to dislodge large pieces of calculus from your teeth. We will also irrigate your teeth to wash away the tartar. The remaining residue will be removed from your teeth and gum line with the help of scalers.

If your tooth roots are exposed, we will polish them to make them smooth so that bacteria won't be able to stick to them again. If the plaque has entered more than five or six millimeters into the gum pockets, we may need to perform a pocket reduction surgery, a minimally invasive surgery, to remove the plaque and allow the gums to heal.

Why Is It Important to Remove Calculus?

Calculus not just causes oral issues, it can have serious negative consequences for your overall health, including increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

However, taking small and simple precautions can help you prevent calculus build up. That is why we strongly recommend visiting us twice a year for your routine daily checkup so that we can ensure all is right with your oral health.

If you suspect you have plaque or are concerned about your oral health in any way, call us at (541) 779-4517 to schedule an appointment with us.
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