HomeGeneral DentistryWhat is Calculus or Tartar? How to Remove Calculus or Tartar

What is Calculus or Tartar? How to Remove Calculus or Tartar

Calculus or tartar is a hard structure, it forms because of mineralization of dental plaque. It can’t be removed through normal toothbrushing as it is firmly adhered to the tooth surface, it can be removed through professional cleaning at a dental clinic through a scaling, root planing and polishing procedure.

How does Calculus or Tartar form?

Main cause of Calculus formation is poor oral hygiene which causes plaque accumulation. When bacterial plaque is not properly cleaned it gradually accumulates mineral salts and forms hard calculus.

Mineralization of plaque begins with 24-72 hours and it matures or mineralizes around 12-14 days of period.

Dental plaque gets minerals mainly through major salivary glands that why more calculus forms around the area near salivary glands. Buccal surface (surface towards cheeks) of upper molars and Lingual surface (surface towards tongue) of lower front teeth are common sites because of parotid and submandibular salivary gland’s duct opening.

Plaque mineralizes subgingivally (below gum line or gingival crest) gets its mineral content through gingival crevicular fluid and mineralizes.

Rough surface of calculus or tartar promotes dental plaque accumulation further damages gingival tissue. Subgingivally formed calculus causes periodontal diseases (chronic periodontitis) which causes destruction of periodontal tissue and alveolar bone. Calculus formed around cementum also increases chances of root caries.

How to Prevent the formation of Calculus or Tartar?

To prevent Calculus or tartar buildup on teeth, plaque accumulation should be avoided which you can achieve through maintaining optimal oral hygiene.

  • Regular brushing with Soft-bristle toothbrush 2 twice a day for optimal oral hygiene.
  • Research showed powered or electric toothbrushes remove more plaque than manual ones. You can read Manual vs electric toothbrush.
  • Flossing should be done regularly for proper cleaning of each area of teeth where brush can’t reach.
  • Antiseptic mouthwash reduces bacteria and prevents plaque buildup and ultimately reduces chances of calculus or tartar accumulation.
  • Reduce consumption of refined, acidic, and sugary food items.
  • You can use anti-plaque toothpaste to reduce plaque formation rate.

Follow these points for prevention of calculus build up on your teeth.

How to Remove Calculus or Tartar?

Calculus is a very hard form and it tightly adheres to the tooth surface, so it can’t be removed at home with regular tooth brushing and flossing.

Removal of calculus requires professional calculus cleaning by the dentist at the dental clinic through scaling, root planing and polishing procedure.

It is advised to visit the dental clinic regularly for cleaning of calculus or tartar. That’s how you can keep your teeth and gums healthy for ages.

Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya, BDS
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya, BDS
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya is a registered Dentist and Medical content writer. He owns DentalFord and publishes content related to Oral Health for Oral Health Awareness.



Disclaimer : All the information on the page is for educational purposes only to make you aware, you can’t take it as a substitute for medical advice. If you are facing any health issues it is advised to take direct Medical help from medical professionals immediately.