Tartar Buildup Leads to Periodontitis

What is Tartar, Exactly?

It’s common knowledge that the main reason we have to brush (and floss) everyday is to prevent the buildup of plaque on and around our teeth. Insufficient dental hygiene leads to a pale yellow to brown discolouration of the teeth; this is not plaque (which is colourless) – this buildup is tartar.

What is Tartar?

When plaque isn’t fully cleaned from the teeth and is given time to build up, it eventually solidifies and becomes mineralised. The coating can cover your teeth and climb up around your gums, making the inside of your mouth a little unpleasant. This mineralised, discoloured plaque is called tartar and can lead to dental health issues.

Unfortunately, tartar contains a large amount of the harmful bacteria which caused the plaque to form in the first place. This bacteria is what can threaten your oral health.

Tartar (or calculus) binds exceptionally well to the teeth and once formed, cannot be removed from brushing alone. The discolouration does not necessarily guarantee the development of gum disease, but if you develop tartar it’s important to implement a good brushing routine to prevent escalation.

How Tartar Affects Teeth and Gums

The first problem which can occur is that getting all the benefits of brushing and flossing becomes more difficult (because you can’t penetrate the calculus) and therefore your tooth enamel is more at risk from deterioration from the various bacteria which linger in the mouth.

This leads to tooth decay and cavities which can be treated by your dentist, but which also leave you at risk of developing gum disease.

Gum Disease

When tartar develops on the gum line, the local bacteria can cause inflammation, discomfort and a form of gum disease called gingivitis. The gums will become red and puffy around the teeth, as well as more sensitive and prone to bleeding during brushing.

If untreated, the condition can progress to periodontitis – a much more severe stage of gum disease. The tartar in-between teeth and lining the gums causes serious inflammation, threatening teeth loss in bad cases.

Preventing and Removing Tartar

The good news is that tartar, while stubborn, can be treated and even removed with the right procedure.

  • Preventative care – This is what everyone can do everyday, twice a day – brush their teeth. Tooth brushing should last 2 minutes (one way to track time is to divide each row into thirds, and brush the front, top and back of each 3rd for six seconds before moving on) with a proper ~1500 ppm fluoride toothpaste.It’s also beneficial to use an antibacterial mouthwash and to floss once per day, making sure to clean right up and under the gums to prevent the kind of tartar buildup that leads to periodontitis.
  • Professional cleaning – With professional dental cleaning the bulk of the tartar will be removed using a carefully calibrated ultrasound instrument, designed to break up the material non-invasively. Teeth are then scaled, polished and given a fluoride treatment to help prevent decay on the newly-cleaned surface.
  • Risk factors – Plaque is formed by the bacteria that reside in your mouth; these bacteria love starch and sugary foods, so try to maintain a diet with as little unnecessary sugar as possible. Tartar also forms much more easily for smokers than for nonsmokers – smoking is terrible for your teeth, especially as you get older, so consider quitting.

Welcome to our Edmonton Dental Office!

When you are looking for a new dentist, it can be difficult to find one that will fit your needs. It is also important to find a dental office that is up to date, has a good following, and has dentists with flexible hours. At Kingsway Dental Centre, we go above and beyond simply being your dentist, we take the time to get to know you and make sure you feel comfortable before any procedure.

Signs of a Good Dental Practice

Services – The most important aspect of finding the right dentist is making sure they offer the services you need. If you have a family, you should find an office that offers children dentistry and if you need cosmetic dentistry, your dentist should have experience with those procedures. We offer several services from simple cleanings to extractions so you can be sure we will meet your needs.

Experience – Experience can mean the difference between having the job done right the first time and needing to return for extra work. A dentist that has experience doing certain procedures will be able to do them better and quicker then one who has little or no experience. Our dentists have extensive experience in all the services we offer and will get the job done right the first time.

Flexible hours – When you are working a full time job and your children are going to school it can be hard to find the time to schedule in your dental visits without taking time off. We are open Saturdays so you won’t need to pull your kids out of school or take a sick day just to get dental care.

Good reviews – With the internet and word of mouth, it can be easy to get reviews and opinions on dental practices. We have great reviews on both Yelp and our Facebook page so you know that we offer the best care available in the Edmonton, AB area.

A Step Above

Searching for a new dentist can be overwhelming, but at Kingsway Dental Centre we put our patients first. If you would like more information on our dental office and the services we provide, please contact our office today!

Long Term Dental Care

Our teeth are made to last, and with proper care, can last a life time. Yet, poor dental hygiene and skipping dental appointments can make it hard for your teeth to last. From brushing correctly to regular cleanings, there are several ways you can help keep your teeth and mouth healthy and your smile beautiful.

Long Term Oral Care

Brushing – Everyone knows that brushing is important, but it takes more than just a toothbrush and toothpaste to get the job done right. Toothbrushes are not created equal and it is important to find one that works best for you. Electric toothbrushes are known to work best, but if your preference is a manual toothbrush then you can still achieve clean teeth. It is best to choose a brush with soft bristles and hold the brush at a forty-five-degree angle so you don’t damage your gums.

Flossing – While flossing often takes a backseat to brushing on the importance ranking, it can be even more vital to your gum health. Flossing correctly can help you remove the plaque and food particles that like to hide between your teeth and cause gum inflammation. Be sure not to snap the floss between your teeth and to be gentle when flossing so you don’t do more harm than good.

Mouthwash – Mouthwash doesn’t have to be a part of your daily care routine, but it can help in several ways. It can kill cavity causing bacteria in your mouth, lowering your chances of both tooth decay and gum disease. Most will also help give you fresh breath. Yet, it is important to choose one that doesn’t have a high amount of alcohol since high levels of alcohol can actually damage your tooth’s enamel.

Dental visits – Even brushing and flossing twice a day wont remove all the plaque and bacteria from your mouth. Plaque can turn into tartar which can only be removed with a deep clean from your dentist. This will help keep your gums healthy and your teeth strong. Dentists will also spot signs of possible cavities and gum disease before they become more painful and expensive problems.

Healthy Teeth for Life

Having healthy teeth will save you time and money in the long run and good oral habits will help you achieve that goal. If you live in the Edmonton, AB area and would like more information or tips on keeping your teeth and gums healthy please contact Kingsway Dental Centre today.

Signs You May Need Oral Surgery

Going to the dentist already causes anxiety in many people, even more so when it is for oral surgery. However, the purpose of oral surgery is to help get rid of severe pain and treat extensive dental damage, not cause it. The thought of getting oral surgery can seem overwhelming, but at Kingsway Dental Centre we use the latest in dental technology to offer you more pain free and efficient dental care, especially when it comes to oral surgery.

Signs You Need Oral Surgery

Severe tooth pain – Dental pain can be caused by several different problems including cavities, broken teeth and gum disease. In many cases, you won’t need oral surgery to correct these issues, however there are a few conditions that will require the need for surgery such as impacted wisdom teeth and severe tooth decay. Though extractions are generally non-invasive procedures, they are still considered oral surgery since they require anesthesia.

Jaw pain – Another common issue that may require oral surgery is jaw pain. In some cases, the upper and lower jaws don’t grow together properly and can cause issues speaking, breathing, and swallowing. One of the most common jaw related issues is Temporomandibular Joint disorders, or TMJ. TMJ can cause the jaw to pop when you chew or talk, resulting in severe headaches, jaw pain, and facial pain. While TMJ can be treated with medication and physical therapy, more severe cases will need surgery.

Tooth loss – One of the most effective ways to treat the loss of a tooth, is with dental implants. Dental implants use an implant that is placed directly into the jaw bone where the root of your tooth used to be. This will help the implant be more stable and keep the bone from deteriorating. Once the implant is in place a tooth-colored crown will be attached giving you back both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Consult Your Dentist

While most of the time pain will not require oral surgery and can be an easily fixed, it is best to see your dentist as soon as possible. If you live in the Edmonton, AB area and would like more information on oral surgery, please do not hesitate to contact our office today!