Dental Calculus: Not Your High School Math Class

Dental calculus. It’s a thing, and it has nothing to do with derivatives, slopes, integrals, or anything else to do with the math you left behind in high school. Also often called tartar, dental calculus is a hardened build-up of plaque on your teeth. Not so glamorous, right? One way you can remember what it is is that CALC-ulus is CALC-ified on your teeth. Depending on how much of a math geek you were in school, that might seem better or worse than calculus class.

student facing a blackboard with hands on head studying differential equations

How Dental Calculus Forms

When the bacteria and food debris in your mouth mix together it forms the sticky film that is plaque on your teeth and under your gums. When that plaque is left to stay there for a while, it hardens into dental calculus.

Why Dental Calculus Is a Problem

So what’s so wrong with having some calculus on your teeth? Well, it can end up damaging your gums by irritating them and leaving pockets between them and your teeth. This opens the door to gum disease. Calculus also happens to be porous, which means that it absorbs stains more easily and can increase your chances of having a discolored smile.

How to Remove Dental Calculus

While it’s possible for you to get rid of plaque on your own with proper at-home dental care, dental calculus is not so easy to get rid of. You must visit a dental professional so they can remove the calculus with their special tools. That’s why it’s best to take steps to prevent it from building up in the first place.

You should brush twice a day, use tartar-control toothpaste, and floss at least once a day. You may also want to consider adding in antiseptic mouthwash to your dental routine, and also cutting back on sugary and starchy foods that bad bacteria in your mouth love to feed on. And, of course, keep up with those biannual dental visits so your dentist can prevent any calculus build-up, or handle it properly if it’s there.

Concerned you have some dental calculus? Or want more tips on how to avoid calculus from forming on your teeth? Palos Heights Family Dental is here for you! Contact us, and we can discuss your situation further.

To ask our team any questions about dental calculus or other oral health concerns, contact us today!

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Dental Calculus: Not Your High School Math Class was last modified: April 19th, 2019 by PC_AusTin-DoubleJ