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Dentists often remind their patients to floss every night. They do not make their patients work more on their teeth but to help them clear the possibility of building calculus deposits on the teeth that may lead to tooth decay.

Calculus, a plaque that hardens the teeth, is a common dental problem that leads to tooth decay and cavities. Also called tartar, they come from food residues stuck on the gaps between the teeth, underneath the gum line, which results in irritation and inflammation. But besides the risk that comes with calculus, what else should people know about them? Here are some of the most common questions asked about them.

1. Where Does Tartar Form?

The hard deposits form at the edges of the teeth where the gums attach. However, not everyone gets calculus because it takes time for the plaque that hardens the teeth to develop. The deposits form where there is enough plaque to set, and it takes time for the bacteria to produce enough byproducts.

2. Why Is Calculus Bad?

The reason people should brush their teeth is because in the gum line are bacteria that are ready to attack your teeth. The bacteria feed on the food residue left there and will excrete byproducts that will harden and build the calculus deposits. These byproducts will set the tooth by decreasing the ability of its enamel to fight bacteria. Therefore, any calculus deposits left for a long time can damage the tooth.

3. Is Bad Breath a Symptom of Tartar?

Bad breath is usually associated with poor hygiene and can be caused by having a dry mouth. However, bad breath can also result from the bacteria that thrive in your mouth. One of the bacteria that produce sulfur can cause bad breath. Regular brushing and flossing can’t remove the bacteria with sulfur, but a visit to the dentist may help.

4. What Should You Do About Calculus?

Removing calculus deposits is not the same as removing plaque. You will need to visit your dentist two to three times a year to ensure that you get rid of the hard deposits. You can also do it yourself, but it is best to leave it to the pros. Several tools can remove tartar from your mouth, but it is a very delicate part of your body, so you should avoid doing it yourself.

5. Is Smoking Linked to Tartar Buildup?

Smoking can affect the flow of oxygen to the mouth and surrounding tissues. It can lead to the tissues losing the ability to produce enough biotin, an essential vitamin for healthy gums. A biotin deficiency can slow down the healing process for the gum tissue, leading to calculus deposits on the gums.

The mucus helps to remove the bacteria present, but the saliva increases the alkalinity of the mouth, which reduces the acidity and increases the pH levels. As a result, it is harder to remove the bacteria that cause tartar buildup.


If you have questions about calculus deposits, you may ask your dentist. Remember that calculus can damage your teeth if left for a long time. Dentists strongly advise visiting them regularly for a checkup.

Dental House MI is a local dentist clinic found in Ann Arbor. We offer affordable dentistry to people needing a hand to protect their teeth against common issues like tooth decay and bleeding gums. Book an appointment today to any of our service areas and get the care your teeth deserve.

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Ann Arbor Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Thur 9am - 6pm, Fri & Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 4860 Washtenaw Ave D, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Waterford Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 5979 Highland Rd, Waterford Twp, MI 48327
West Bloomfield Dentist Office
Hours : Monday, Wednesday to Friday 9am - 6pm
Address : 6595 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield, MI 48322
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