What Are the Dangers of Plaque and Tartar?

What Are the Dangers of Plaque and Tartar?

They might not be visible to the naked eye, but plaque and tartar could be wreaking silent havoc on your teeth and gums. From bad breath to possible tooth loss in extreme cases, plaque and tartar buildup can significantly damage your oral health.

At the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry in Beverly Hills, California, prosthodontist Dr. Ramin Mahallati and our team offer a range of restorative and cosmetic dentistry services, including dental implants and gum disease prevention and treatment.

The dangers of plaque and tartar buildup 

Plaque is the sticky, invisible film that develops on teeth when saliva mixes with bacteria and food residue. It is a normal process and most plaque buildup is preventable if you brush your teeth after meals and floss every day.

Poor oral hygiene and consuming high-sugar food and drinks cause plaque to solidify into a hard substance called tartar. 

Once plaque becomes tartar, it damages your tooth enamel and can progress to gum disease. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, advanced gum disease (also known as periodontitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults. 

While plaque is usually clear and invisible, tartar may look yellow or brown (you can also have tartar buildup without actually seeing it).

In addition to gum disease, some of the other symptoms and dangers of plaque and tartar include:

Enamel loss makes your teeth vulnerable to additional problems like stains, sensitivity, and tooth decay.

What you can do to prevent plaque and tartar buildup

Brushing your teeth after meals and flossing once a day is the best thing you can do to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Preventive dental care is also necessary to pick up where brushing and flossing leave off. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental exam and cleaning, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. 

Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you could have buildup that only a dentist can spot. Diet also plays an essential role in your oral health, so if you have a sweet tooth, try to enjoy your favorite sweet drinks and food in moderation. 

Some people also have a higher risk of developing gum disease through genetics, so if you have a history of gum disease in your family, Dr. Mahallati and our team will make recommendations for preventive dental care to help manage your risk.

Oral health problems like tartar buildup and gum disease develop gradually and get worse over time, so the sooner you get to the dentist, the less likely you’ll be to experience permanent damage to your teeth and gums!

For more information on gum disease prevention and treatment, contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in Beverly Hills. 

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