The Impact of Plaque, Tartar, and Calculus on Oral Health

Dentist Herndon The Impact of Plaque

Oral health is one of the most important aspects of overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most neglected. Many people don’t realize the impact that plaque, tartar, and calculus can have on their oral health. Let’s break down the difference between these three dental dilemmas and how they can affect your oral health in the long run.

Understanding the Difference between Plaque, Tartar, and Calculus

The human mouth is home to a variety of bacteria, some of which can cause dental problems. Plaque, tartar, and calculus are three of the most common issues that can arise due to bacteria buildup. Though they are all related, it is important to understand the differences between them to keep your mouth healthy.

Plaque – This is a thin, sticky film that is made up of bacteria, saliva, and food particles. It develops on the teeth and gums and can cause tooth decay and gum disease if left untreated. It is the primary cause of dental problems and can be removed by brushing and flossing regularly.

Tartar – This is also made up of bacteria but is harder than plaque and is much more difficult to remove. Tartar forms when plaque is left on the teeth for too long and accumulates over time. It usually appears as a yellow or brown deposit on the teeth and can lead to gum inflammation and other periodontal diseases. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional.

Calculus – This is a hard, mineralized deposit that forms on the teeth and gums. It is usually the result of long-term tartar buildup, and is usually yellow or brown in color. It is difficult to remove, and can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums. Professional cleaning and scaling are usually needed to remove calculus.

Plaque, tartar, and calculus are all different types of bacterial buildup that can cause dental problems. Plaque is the most easily removed, while tartar and calculus require professional dental cleaning. Taking good care of your teeth and gums by brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly can help prevent the buildup of plaque, tartar, and calculus and keep your mouth healthy.

Steps to Prevent Plaque, Tartar, and Calculus

Plaque, tartar, and calculus are three common dental issues that can cause tooth decay and gum disease, so it’s important to take steps to prevent them. Here are three steps you can take to help protect your teeth and gums from plaque, tartar, and calculus:

  1. Brush and Floss Regularly: Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily can help remove plaque and food particles that can lead to the buildup of tartar and calculus.
  2. Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Visiting your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup can help prevent plaque, tartar, and calculus. During your appointment, your dentist will clean your teeth and remove any plaque and tartar buildup, as well as check for any signs of cavities or gum disease.
  3. Use an Antiseptic Mouthwash: Mouthwash can help kill the bacteria in your mouth that can lead to plaque and tartar buildup. It can also help reduce inflammation and swelling of the gums caused by gingivitis.


By following these three steps, you can help protect your teeth and gums from plaque, tartar, and calculus. Remember to brush and floss regularly, visit your dentist every six months, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to help reduce your risk of these dental issues.

If you’re concerned about plaque or tartar buildup, it’s best to consult an expert from Galleria Dental Smiles. We are a full-service dental office in Herndon, VA, and we offer a wide range of dental services, from general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry. Contact us today whenever you need help from an emergency dentist in Herndon.