What does Tartar Look like on Teeth

What does Tartar Look like on Teeth?

What does Tartar Look like on Teeth? Dental plaque is a yellowish-white substance that forms due to bacterial growth and the accumulation of food residues and adheres to the surface of the teeth. If it is not removed in time by brushing, due to the mineral salts present in saliva, it can calcify . This is how it becomes tartar , and it can get under the gums, differentiating into two types of tartar:

  • Supragingival tartar : it is visible to the naked eye because it is above the gum, making it easier to remove.
  • Subgingival tartar : it is below the gum, extending into the root of the tooth, which is why it can form periodontal pockets, not to mention cavities and bad breath. As it cannot be seen with the naked eye, x-rays and periodontal probing must be performed to detect it.

Reasons why it accumulates

  • The main one is the lack of hygiene or an incorrect brushing technique. .
  • The existence of malpositions or crooked teeth , as they make it more difficult to access the recesses where it can accumulate.
  • When there is dry mouth or xerostomia .
  • Smoke .
  • The consumption of certain foods , because they cause variations in the pH of the saliva, which favors their appearance.
  • Certain medications favor the appearance of tartar.
  • Diseases caused by fungi or bacteria.
  • Hormonal changes .
  • Genetic factors .

Can saliva cause tartar?

Dental tartar is a mineralization of plaque. If there is no plaque, there is no tartar.

It is true that a basic saliva pH can cause tartar buildup more easily than saliva with a more acidic pH.

Specifically, the pH of saliva, depending on the person, ranges between 6.5 and 7.5.

Consequences of the accumulation of tartar

The large number of bacteria found in tartar can cause the following problems:

  • Mostly, it is the gums that suffer the most from its consequences: Inflammation and bleeding (which can be the symptom of gingivitis or periodontitis ); color changes ; can be retracted etc.
  • Halitosis or bad breath .
  • Tooth decay .
  • Systemic diseases such as arthritis, heart problems, etc.
  • And the most obvious, aesthetic problems when it is visible above the gum.


Prevent the formation of tartar

With good dental hygiene

Not only with brushing teeth after each meal, – with a brush of medium hardness – also using dental floss or even interproximal brushes . You also have to remember to clean your tongue .

Important : brushing must be done correctly , spending at least a couple of minutes and using the correct technique.

Using fluoride toothpaste

Fluoride increases the resistance of dental enamel to acids derived from bacterial growth and food debris that form dental plaque. That is why the use of fluoride toothpastes is recommended in people prone to cavities. Although fluoride-free toothpastes that contain hydroxyapatite can also help.

Choosing the most suitable mouthwash

If you are a person prone to tartar, it is recommended that it be an antibacterial one , since it hinders the growth of oral bacteria.

Maintain a healthy diet

Reduce the consumption of sugary and starchy foods and favor fruits and vegetables .

No Smoking

Tobacco helps bacteria form biofilms on teeth.

Don’t forget reviews

Go to the dentist at least 2 times a year and perform the professional dental prophylaxis recommended by your dentist.

How to get rid of tartar on teeth

Depending on the depth at which you are, you can perform:

  • A professional cleaning
  • scaling and root planing
  • Periodontal surgery in cases of advanced periodontal disease.

Do home remedies help remove tartar?

Actually, once the plaque has calcified (hardened) and tartar has formed, the only way to remove it is by going to the dentist so that, after diagnosis, he can carry out one of the three treatments indicated in the previous section.

But we are going to review some of the myths about the home remedies that are recommended to apply. And why, really, it’s not worth it.

Sodium bicarbonate

It can be used in small amounts, mixed with water, forming a mouthwash. It will help remove plaque , like any other rinse, but not tartar .

Lemon juice

Although there is talk of its bactericidal properties, it must also be remembered that it is erosive – due to the acids that citrus fruits contain – so it is not really worth using it .

Coconut oil

Coconut oil rinses do not work to remove tartar , but they can be beneficial for maintaining dental health, as they can help reduce the appearance of oral infections and reduce the accumulation of plaque .


Be careful, because as with lemon, it is an acid that , with continuous use, can cause erosion of the enamel and therefore help to produce dental sensitivity and cavities. So it is not recommended either .