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A 46-year-old member asked:

What causes tartar on your teeth?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Hanley
Orthodontics 43 years experience
Calcified plaque: Tarter is also known as calculus. When bacterial plaque remains on your teeth for a long time, the calcium ions in your saliva will cause this plaque to calcify. This needs to be removed by a professional, as it is very difficult to remove from the teeth without sharp instruments. To reduce the calculus on your teeth, get them cleaned professionally every six months.
Dr. Ahmad Eslami
Periodontics 44 years experience
Tartar: Tartar is hardened plaque. Dental plaque is colonization of the teeth surface with the bacteria. If the plaque is not removed adequately it gradually attracts calcium from saliva and hardens into tartar or "calculus".

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Last updated Jan 25, 2015

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