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Dental tartar - Dental Plaque (Part 1)

Dental plaque turns into tartar – Part 1.

Dental tartar is mineralized and solidified dental plaque.

Unlike dental plaque which is removed regularly thanks to good brushing of the teeth, tartar can no longer be removed with a toothbrush.

    • In France, tartar is generally removed by a dentist. Descaling.
    • In other countries, this act may be delegated to a dental hygienist, under the supervision of the dentist.
    • Scaling is done using ultrasonic devices or by hand.
    • These instruments can dislodge supra and subgingival tartar.

Tartar is mainly formed on the lingual surface (i.e. on the tongue side) of the lower incisors.

  • saliva contains a high concentration of calcium, which facilitates mineralization.
  • We also observe tartar on the vestibular side (i.e. on the side of the cheek) of the first upper molars.
  • If it is deposited more rarely elsewhere, it can affect all teeth in the event of poor oral hygiene.

Tartar forms more or less quickly depending on the individual. The phenomenon depends on different factors.

  • Quality of brushing: the better the dental plaque is eliminated, the less tartar will be able to form.
  • Characteristics of saliva (pH, buffering power, quantity, etc.).

Action of exogenous agents. Tobacco, radiation or certain medications induce a reduction or suppression of salivary flow.

  • Increased risk of development of bacterial plaque and, consequently, tartar.
  • Tartar, normally clear, can be colored either by blood or by the consumption of products such as tea, coffee or tobacco.
  • It can have shades more or less close to dark brown.
  • This type of coloring can be observed in cavities or stopped cavities.

Tartar can be deposited on the entire surface of the teeth. We distinguish:

  • The supragingival tartar: this is what we can see with the naked eye. It is generally whitish in color.
  • The subgingival tartar: this is the tartar which is deposited on the root of the tooth, protected from the gingiva, at the level of periodontal pockets.
  • It is often much darker. This tartar is the most damaging: the bacteria are protected inside the pocket, and gradually the aerobic flora transforms into flora.
  • These inflammations transform into gingivitis, loosen teeth and increase bad breath.

 Retour          Tarte - Plaque Dentaire Partie 2


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