What Is Tartar?
Tartar, sometimes referred to as either supra-gingival (above the gum) or gingival (at the gum) or sub-gingival (beneath the gum) calculus, is a rough and porous mineral buildup that forms on the teeth.
Supra-Gingival Plaque, Sub-Gingival Plaque & Calculus… Let’s Talk
When plaque is supra-gingival, the bacterial content contains a great proportion of aerobic bacteria and yeast… the bacteria which utilize and are able to survive in an environment containing oxygen. Sub-gingival plaque has a higher proportion of anaerobic bacteria… the bacteria which cannot exist in an environment containing oxygen. Calculus formation is associated with several clinical manifestations… These include unpleasant breath, receding gums and chronically inflamed gingiva. Brushing and flossing does away with plaque from which calculus (tartar) forms. However, once plaque has formed… it is too hard (firmly attached) to eradicate it using just a teethbrush. But unlike plaque, which is hard to notice, tartar takes on a conspicuous yellowish or brownish color. Numerous variables have been identified that influence the formation of calculus… These include age, gender, ethnic background, location in the oral cavity, diet, oral hygiene, bacterial plaque composition, host genetics, physical disabilities, systemic diseases, tobacco use, drugs and medications.
Why Take Tartar Seriously?
While calculus (tartar) is not immediately harmful or dangerous, it certainly does create a plethora of challenges down the road if we ignore it. So then, you may ask… “Why is calculus detrimental to our gingival health?”
• Calculus serves as a trap for increased plaque formation and retention. In other words… Tartar allows additional surface area for plaque to stick, and what’s the outcome? Undesirable bacteria now has a perfect environment in which to flourish.
• This same unwanted bacteria, in turn, may cause cavities and irritate the gums. The latter stated will eventually lead to gum disease.
• Because tartar is porous, it absorbs stains easily. And, what’s remotely attractive about stained teeth?
• Tartar interferes with successful cleansing of the teeth and gums, and improper cleansing will definitely result in further cavities and tooth decay.
What Can I Do About Tartar?
People can usually feel or see tartar on their own teeth. This is if it’s significant, and if they take the time to locate it. The two goals are to 1} do away with the existing tartar, and 2} prevent future tartar and plaque buildup. It’s extremely advantageous to use metal instruments that have been specifically designed for putting an end to tartar… similar to what dental hygienists use for scraping/scaling. In cases of mild to moderate periodontitis, the procedures of scaling and root planing can provide us with excellent results if they’ve been performed in a thorough manner. The objective for periodontal scaling and root planing is to annihilate plaque and calculus which encase bacteria that release toxins. This string of events causes inflammation to the gum tissue and surrounding bone.
Periodontal Scaling & Root Planing… The Tools Of The Trade
These specialized tools of the trade for the purpose of scaling and root planing (a.k.a. deep cleaning) are periodontal scalers, curettes, jaquettes, hoes, files and chisels. When scalers and curettes are not quite enough to effectively accomplish the task at hand… This is when the use of hoes, files and chisels are implemented. Hoes and chisels are implemented to get rid of bands of calculus, whereas files are implemented to crush burnished or tenacious calculus. Each type of tool has been specially designed for use in particular areas of the mouth. As an example… Universal and area specific curettes are mainly used to remove sub-gingival calculus, smooth root surfaces (a.k.a. root planing) and clean out periodontal pockets. As a side note, in case you’re as curious as I was… the major difference between the design of a periodontal scaler and a curette is in the shape of its blade. In cross section… The blade of a scaler is triangular, whereas the blade of a curette is semicircular.
After All Is Said & Done
After this procedure known as scaling… It’s possible that your mouth could be slightly sore, and minor bleeding of the gums could occur. The previously mentioned could occur whether or not you scale DIY, or you visit a dentist. During and after scaling and root planing, it’s extremely beneficial to rinse the mouth with warm salt water.
Here are two fantastic DIY dental kits for your consideration.
Salt Water Rinsing For Oral Health
Part and parcel of dental health is diligently attending to the oral microbiome. Achieving dental health is truly about promoting balance amongst the bacteria in the mouth, and a salt water rinse is extraordinarily revitalizing for this region. For various dental issues… Swishing with a saline solution is an age old remedy, and a salt water rinse has been proven to be an excellent disinfectant. Thus, it’s ideal to incorporate this oh so simple and very inexpensive, healing modality after the procedures of scaling and root planing. This salt water rinse will greatly help to relieve the discomfort and swelling that may occur as a result of the deep cleaning.
The Salt Of The Earth
For health care purposes, salt has quite a long history. According to the Science Tribune, the use of salt as a curative dates back to some of the oldest medical scripts in existence. In fact, ancient Egyptian papyruses from 1600 B.C. contain recipes for a wide array of medicinal treatments using salt.
What Can I Expect From Rinsing My Mouth With Salt Water?
Performing the particular practice of rinsing the mouth with salt water not only flushes away unwanted bacteria, but it also neutralizes acids in the oral environment which in turn restores its natural pH level. A salt water rinse soothes mouth sores and bleeding gums, loosens food debris, freshens the breath plus it’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. In addition to eating what is nourishing for the entire body, and of course this includes the teeth and gums… An effective, at-home, daily, oral care regime is absolutely necessary in sustaining the best health of the tongue, teeth and gums.
Salt Water Rinse… Here’s How To Make It
Water, filtered… 6 ounces
Salt, unrefined and fine grain… ½ teaspoon
Pour water and salt into a cup. Now, lid the cup.
Before each use, shake well.
After each meal, vigorously swish with the salt water one to three times.
Then, brush teeth as usual.
Click HERE to receive recipes for the best teeth pastes you’ve ever used!
The Root Of The Matter
The teeth have roots that draw in nutrients, and it’s imperative to understand that what we eat is what will supply crucial nutrients to the teeth. Regaining and maintaining an optimum state of oral health is certainly nowhere near as easy as just eating organically, locally-grown/produced, non-GMO/non-GEO and Scripturally clean meats/whole grains/fresh fruits and veggies/herbs/nuts and seeds, etc. When it comes to what’s actually healthy to eat, the deception goes way deep.
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