General Dentistry: What Are Plaque and Calculus?

General Dentistry Kaysville, UT

When it comes to general dentistry, patients often learn some fascinating things. Along with the various procedures performed, dental professionals spend time educating people. Take tongue and lip piercings as an example; you may not realize that these can negatively affect your teeth.

What does general dentistry entail?

For people who do not know what general dentistry is, this is the most common type of dental care. A dentist who practices in this field performs basic dental procedures and some more advanced treatments. A general dentist offers a range of services, from filling cavities to performing root canals. Overall, the dental professional does everything possible to save a patient’s natural teeth.

What are plaque and calculus?

One of the things a general dentist sees often is a buildup of plaque and calculus. If left untreated, this can lead to serious tooth decay. At that point, a patient is at risk of losing a tooth or needing major work done. Fortunately, having regular checkups twice a year prevents this type of problem.

Plaque is a colorless and sticky film that forms on the teeth. Fortunately, the combination of regular brushing and flossing removes this substance. However, if plaque becomes hard, it turns into calculus. More commonly, people refer to this as tartar. The problem is that an individual cannot remove calculus with brushing. Instead, they need to come for a professional cleaning at a general dentistry clinic.

Potential problems

If a person does not brush and floss or have calculus professionally removed, it can lead to a host of issues. The deal with plaque is that it is bacteria. After eating, that releases acids that begin to attack tooth enamel.

In particular, sugar is bad. The more sugar a person eats, the more acid forms. That can quickly demineralize the protective coating on the tooth enamel, which then leads to cavities.

What makes plaque even worse is that it can travel through a person’s bloodstream. When that happens, it can clog arteries. As for oral health, excessive plaque causes gum disease. This is why proper brushing and regular checkups at a general dentistry clinic are so critical. Once removed, the risk is gone.

Then there is calculus or tartar. When that develops, it is common for people to experience inflamed and bleeding gums. This is also what leads to bad breath. The biggest issue is that if calculus makes its way below the gumline, it causes separation. That means teeth begin to separate from the gums. Over time, the individual would lose both bone and teeth.

Take proper care of your teeth and gums

To avoid a problem with plaque and calculus, be sure to brush and floss often. Then schedule an appointment at a general dentistry clinic. There, a dental professional will perform an examination and take X-rays. Also, a hygienist will clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar. The outcome is healthy teeth and gums.

Request an appointment here: https://www.kaysvillefamilydentistry.com/ or call Kaysville Family Dentistry at (801) 546-2439 for an appointment in our Kaysville office.

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