Dental calculus is more often referred to as tartar and is a hardened deposit of plaque found around the teeth and gums. Plaque is a filmy layer of bacteria that attacks tooth enamel and causes cavities and gum disease. Plaque can be kept at bay and removed by brushing teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, but once it has hardened into tartar or calculus it will need to be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Once the bacteria and mineral deposits in plaque have hardened they can often cause more bacteria to stick to the teeth causing more problems. The first sign that you may be suffering from calculus is yellow or brown stains appearing on the teeth. It is a very porous material and attracts staining materials, especially from substances like tobacco smoke and coffee. If left untreated it can lead to cavities, periodontal disease and can infect the tissue around the teeth leading to gum disease (also known as gingivitis).
A City of London dentist will be able to remove the build up of calculus using special tools, and may be able to blast away large deposits of tartar using ultrasonic dental cleaning devices. They are also able to clean below the gum line using a process called scaling (sometimes known as root planning) which can help prevent gum disease.
As is always the case when it comes to looking after your teeth, if you follow some fairly simple rules you’ll be able to keep dental calculus under control and stop it causing any long-term damage to your teeth. Firstly, brush and floss every day, avoid sugary food and snacking between meals and go for regular dental check-ups with a city of London dentist every six months at least.