Have you ever experienced a sudden sensation of something breaking off the back of your teeth? This can be a disconcerting experience and often leaves people wondering what has just happened.
In many cases, the cause of this sensation is the breaking off of tartar from the back of your teeth. This write-up is going to be all about why and how tartar forms, why does it break away, and how you can fix this problem.
What Is Tartar, and How Does it Form?
Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is a hard, yellow or brown substance that forms on the surface of teeth due to the build-up of plaque, which is subsequently not cleaned off.
Plaque is a sticky, colourless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums. When plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional.
Tartar build-up can have severe dental and systemic implications for your health that include; bleeding gums, infections, mobile teeth, foul breath, and tooth decay.
Why and How Does Tartar Break Off?
Tartar can break off from the back of your teeth due to a variety of different reasons. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons for tartar to break off from the back of your teeth.
- Tartar can break or dislodge upon eating something hard or crunchy
- Tartar can also break off due to aggressive brushing with a hard bristle toothbrush
- Tartar is hard and brittle, which makes it easy to break off upon contact with other hard things
- Tartar can become so heavy that it eventually breaks off on its own due to being unsupported
Should You be Concerned?
Whenever tartar breaks away in your mouth, there is a sensation of something cracking or breaking away. This is alarming for people since their first thought is that their teeth cracked.
However, this is often not the case since tooth enamel is very hard and does not easily chip or break away. If you take the broken piece out to observe it, you will notice it is yellow/brown in colour and very brittle, so much so that it will disintegrate into a powdery substance upon applying pressure. This will confirm the fact that it was a piece of tartar.
There is not a lot to be concerned about at this stage. However, after tartar breaks away, it leaves a sharp edge inside the mouth that can injure the tongue and gums and cause significant discomfort.
Moreover, the piece of tartar contains millions of bacteria that will enter the bloodstream if there is a bleed in the mouth. This is a risk factor for patients with infective endocarditis, and they should see their dentist immediately.
You should see your dentist if you have tartar buildup on your teeth since tartar can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and foul breath. Your dentist will carry out a professional cleaning to remove all plaque and tartar deposits leaving your teeth clean and fresh.
How to Prevent Tartar from Forming
Preventing tartar from forming requires good oral hygiene practices that include;
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each
- Flossing every day to remove food and plaque from in between the teeth
- Use antiseptic mouthwashes to keep a fresh, bacteria-free mouth
- Biannual cleanings from your dental practitioner
In addition to good oral hygiene practices, there are some other steps you can take to prevent tartar formation and buildup;
Watch Your Diet
Your diet can have a big impact on your oral health. Sugary and starchy foods promote the growth of bacteria that cause plaque and tartar buildup.
Limit your sugary and starchy foods and drinks, and choose healthy foods that promote oral health, such as fruits and vegetables.
Smoking not only stains your teeth, but it also increases your risk of gum disease and tartar buildup. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your oral and overall health.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental cleanings can help prevent tartar buildup and keep your teeth healthy. Your dentist can remove any tartar buildup that has already occurred and provide advice on how to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Looking for a Consult?
If you’re concerned about the build-up of tartar around your teeth and the risk of it breaking off. Then look no further than Vue Dental. We’ll restore your teeth to their pearly white glistening appearance in no time!
Our state-of-the-art dental office is equipped with the latest equipment and a highly qualified team of dental practitioners who can address all your dental issues.
Get a consult with Dr Keshavi Patel today by calling us at 512-888-9340 or book an appointment online via our website. We offer all sorts of dental services, so feel free to contact us with any queries about your oral health!