The Final Equation of Plaque Buildup: Dental Calculus
What is Dental Calculus?
Dental calculus is the buildup that occurs over long periods of time when plaque has been festering for too long in the mouth. This plaque truly forms in a large community, just like a suburb or bedroom city on a map near a large metro area. Plaque is the very sticky layer of film that accumulates over time on your teeth and along the lines of the gums. Sugar and starch are really the two agents that are battling against your health when it comes to this issue: things like potato chips and candy bars are agents that produce the acids that are constantly attacking your healthy teeth and gums. Many issues like time since last cleaning affect how and when calculus occurs.
The different types of plaque
Dental plaque is very complex, and there are different types that can act on their own or band together on the offensive to affect your otherwise healthy gums and teeth. Within This study by NCBI we found online, we are shown the extensive research compiled about dental calculus and periodontal inflammation. Here are some of the different types of plaque and their individual characteristics:
• Subginivital: This is the plaque that is closest to the gum line.
• Attached: This is plaque that is categorized by its relationship to the actual surface, or enamel, of the teeth.
• Health-associated: Plaque that is categorized by the progression of the disease state is it currently at.
What causes dental calculus?
The true root of this dental condition is plaque that becomes hardened, and threatens to build up minerals that kill healthy bacterial cells. The harmful calculus can form along the gumline, or between the teeth where things can very suddenly be inflamed. Timely brushing and flossing can remove the plaque once a serious buildup forms, but as seen many times, the attachment of heavy plaque is what really begins the path to more serious calculus. Dental calculus typically forms in many layers, and some take light microscopy instruments to visualize. There are many variables that occur and influence the formation of dental calculus, including age, gender, ethnic background, previous oral hygiene, what kind of genetics are in the host domain, and how much access you have had to professional dental care in the past.
Tactics to keep Plaque turning tail
Having to take care of calculus by scaling or other means is simply part of the dental care regimen that is not fun. Even though only recommended every six months or so, when the scaling is done by a hygienist, can leave you with a bit of pain for a few days. Dental plaque is not the one and only cause of gingivitis, but can be one of the primary players in the game that leads to that end result. Even yeast plays a role in the battle going on within your mouth, and some of this discontent within the most important confines of your mouth can even lead to bone loss. Here are some tactics you can use on a daily basis to avoid getting dental calculus symptoms:
1. Daily brushing and flossing: We know that this sounds simple, but it’s a very important component of health when it comes to plaque. The flossing is absolutely key: this is what gets the food debris out from between your teeth that will ultimately lead to plaque buildup.
2. Your choices in toothpaste: It has been proven that toothpastes with the ingredient zinc citrate have been shown to produce a high reduction in the accumulation of plaque; and when you combine it with other healthy daily maintenance, it really makes a difference.
3. Limiting Snacking: This is one of the hardest things to do, whether you are right in the middle of holiday season, or smack dab in the beginning of spring. Even just the packaging of snacks is designed to have us reaching for them and wanting to indulge in them all day long. Be leery of things like carrots and veggies when you dip them in things like ranch dressing and artichoke dip, because they are other culprits that wage war against your dental health.
4. Consider Sealants: The purpose of these is to safeguard molars from tooth decay, and they are composed of plastic resin. They are applied to the inner wearings of premolars and will act to seal out cavity causing bacteria or leftover food.
5. Regular Cleanings: This is perhaps your most important weapon against calculus. Not just the name of a tough mathematical subject you don’t want to tackle all the time, it is of the utmost importance to stay rid of plaque as much as possible in the long run.
Medically Fact-Checked & Written by Our Dental Editorial Team
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