Signs You Have Tartar Buildup (And What to Do About It)
Having a healthy, beautiful smile is something millions of Americans strive for. Your smile also has other benefits; it can give you confidence, influence our social lives, careers and relationships. However, if you fail to perform proper regular teeth cleaning, you could risk both your appearance and health.
You might not think that a little bit of tartar on your teeth matters, but if left untreated, tartar can have a negative impact on your smile. For instance, it can cause tooth sensitivity and discoloration, as well as gum disease. In some cases, tartar buildup can lead to dental infections and even tooth loss.
In other words, it’s really important to remove tartar before it has a chance to build up. But how do you know this is a problem for you to begin with? We'll answer that question (and a couple of others) below.
What's the Difference Between Plaque and Tartar?
Some people assume that plaque and tartar are the same thing, but these terms actually aren't interchangeable. Plaque is essentially a film that naturally ends up on your teeth, particularly when you eat sugary foods without engaging in teeth cleaning activities (like brushing and flossing). Plaque contains lots of bacteria and will turn into tartar within 24 to 72 hours if it isn't removed via teeth cleaning. Tartar is the hardened version of plaque and is generally much more difficult to remove. It can coat your teeth and settle in your gumline, which can create a whole host of problems (including gingivitis and periodontitis).
You'll certainly want to remove plaque regularly through your teeth cleaning routine to prevent tartar buildup. But it isn't uncommon for tartar to remain on your teeth, so you'll want to recognize the signs and take steps to remove it.
What Are the Signs of Tartar Buildup?
Now that you know the dangers of tartar, you'll want to learn how to spot it. Here are just a few signs you could be dealing with tartar buildup:
Yellow Staining: Perhaps the most obvious sign of tartar buildup is yellow or tan staining, particularly around the gumline.
Rough Texture: While plaque is best described as a sticky, sometimes colorless film, tartar is much easier to identify due to its rough texture. You may feel a crusty or coarse buildup on and around your teeth that's difficult to remove.
Bleeding Gums: This may not always be a direct indication that you have tartar buildup, but we do know that poor teeth cleaning and tartar buildup can lead to gum issues. If your gums bleed every time you brush and floss, it could be due to prolonged tartar buildup. No matter what, this specific should be addressed by a professional.
Bad Breath: Because plaque contains a lot of bacteria, too much plaque can lead to foul-smelling breath. If you have ample tartar buildup, chances are that you also have an excess of plaque. Bad breath can certainly be attributed to other issues, but coupled with the other signs, it's probably a safe bet that plaque and tartar are to blame.
Teeth Sensitivity: Having sensitive teeth doesn't necessarily mean that you have tartar buildup. However, too much plaque and tartar can often lead to receding gums. This, in turn, can expose the nerve endings in your teeth and increase your dental sensitivity.
How Can Tartar Be Removed?
Because tartar buildup can have such major consequences, you'll want to prevent it before it takes over. However, that's not always possible -- partially because plaque can turn into tartar so quickly! As a result, you'll need to learn how to remove tartar.
Dentists can remove tartar during regular visits, though this can be quite uncomfortable and time-consuming. These methods involve scraping with metal instruments, which isn't necessarily a pleasant experience for patients.
Fortunately, you can also remove tartar at home using our tartar removing dental gel. Our tartar removing toothpaste is recommended by dentists, is safe to use, and can improve your overall mouth health. Our tartar and plaque removal dental gel has been proven to be 250% more effective in removing plaque than other leading products on the market -- giving you a top-tier dental experience every time you brush.