If you’ve ever noticed that your teeth are coated with a fuzzy-like film after eating, you also know that brushing and flossing your teeth can remove it, most of the time. Yet, when allowed to remain on the surface of teeth, this white pasty substance, known as plaque, can harden into a calcified version called tartar or dental calculus. Similar to concrete, calculus forms on teeth as thousands upon thousands of bacterial cells bundled together, and it is very difficult to remove. In fact, only dentists can remove plaque, once it has calcified. To better understand the dangers associated with dental calculus, continue reading below.
Aside from periodontal (gum) disease and dental caries (cavities), there are numerous health concerns, including systemic diseases linked to the formation of dental calculus. For instance, bacteria in the mouth stimulate the body’s immune response. As a result, areas containing plaque, tartar, and calculus become inflamed. In the absence of good dental care and hygiene, plaque leaks through the inflamed gum tissues and into the bloodstream. This causes inflammation in other parts of the body, including the lining of major arteries in the heart. This is a clear danger to an individual’s overall health, increasing their chance of developing cardiovascular disease, as well as arthritis, diabetes, and premature birth in pregnant women.
While bacteria serve an important role in the mouth in regards to repairing damaged teeth and preventing the spread of harmful pathogens, researchers explain that the bacteria most often found in individuals today has been altered by unhealthy eating. Carbohydrates and processed sugar are two obvious culprits, with strong connections to the development of periodontal (gum) disease and cavities. In essence, it’s not the quantity of bacteria present–it is the type of bacteria that matters the most. Disease-causing bacteria encourages pathogens to multiply and ultimately dominate.
The Power To Prevent Disease
While the dangers with dental calculus remain a growing concern, dentists have devoted more time educating patients, giving them the power to prevent disease relating to bacteria in the mouth.
Led by Dr. Leia Porcaro, Grateful Dental is an elite dental practice serving Marietta and surrounding metro-Atlanta areas. With comprehensive dentistry, patients are not only well informed about their dental health, they are empowered to do something about it. Thus, if it’s been some time since your last dental visit, it’s likely that you have dental calculus or tartar on your teeth. Dr. Porcaro and the dental support professionals at Grateful Dental encourage you to call today!