I need to find a way to deal with my excessive tartar build-up. As it is, I am going in to see the dentist every four months instead of every six, at their request in order to get this under control. In addition, I brush twice a day with a sonic care toothbrush as well as floss once a day. Even after all this, I can tell my teeth aren’t improving. Is there anything else I can do? My next checkup is approaching and just once I’d like to not be embarrassed.
You have certainly had a time of it, haven’t you? I can tell you care about your oral health. You seem to be doing all the right things. I don’t think you mentioned what type of toothpaste you are using, but many brands have a tartar control option. This can help people with excess tartar keep it more under control. That would be the one thing I would add, if you’re not doing it.
It doesn’t sound like you will have an issue with this, but one thing I will write for the benefit of those reading is the importance of not letting your teeth go 24 hours without brushing. I know lots of times when we’re under-the-weather, we just stay in bed and don’t want to get up for anything. However, maybe during one of those bathroom stops, which we can’t really ignore, they can take a quick few moments to brush.
When you let plaque to remain in place for 24 hours, it changes from plaque to tartar or calculus, both of which are dangerous to the health of your teeth and gums.
Two Categories of Gingival Calculus
We sometimes get people wondering why if their teeth are healthy and they brush regularly what is the need for dental cleanings. Understanding a bit more about calculus may help.
This type of calculus forms above your gum-line, which is the part visible in your mouth. This one contributes to gum disease. This is often what we refer to when we refer to tartar. If you have regular, oral health care this is pretty easy to remove. When left, though, that’s when people end up with periodontal disease. While most can prevent this, it is hard for us to reach every part of our mouth. Having someone go over everything twice a year, is a good preventative.
This type forms below the gumline. It isn’t visible in your mouth. It forms on the root surface of your teeth. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to remove and isn’t even budged by tartar control toothpaste. This also can form gum disease so you need your hygienist to get in there and remove it.
The Danger of Gum Disease
Do you remember those dreams many people have of their teeth suddenly falling out of your mouth? If gum disease is left untreated, your dreams (or should I more appropriately say nightmares) will come true. You will have loss of the bones that support the roots of your teeth and they will just start falling out of your mouth.
When that happens you are talking about either a life-time of dentures or implant-supported dentures. Though more expensive, the option including dental implants is a much better solution for you to have a positive lifestyle experience.
This blog is brought to you by Atlanta Periodontist Dr. David Pumphrey.