What Causes Tartar?
Why do we get tartar on our teeth?
Children’s Dental Center knows about Tartar. Tartar is defined as being a hard calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and contributes to their decay. What causes tartar build up? Bacteria and calcium!
Calcium and fossilized bacteria are the main ingredients of tartar. The bacteria are foreign invaders in your body, and the calcium comes from the saliva in your mouth.
Where does saliva come from, and why does it contain calcium? Saliva is actually filtered blood. The main reason you don’t bleed directly into your mouth has to do with your salivary glands. These glands, located in your cheeks, strain out everything from your circulatory system (blood) that your mouth does not need. The glands let through things like calcium, hormones, and antibacterial cells into your mouth, while leaving things like hemoglobin (which your mouth does not need), to circulate around your body. These good cells then attack the harmful, foreign bacteria in your mouth. The result? Tartar!
So, next time you see tartar on your teeth, think of it as your body’s natural way of protecting those pearly whites. The more tartar you see, the more harmful bacteria and foreign objects are present on your teeth. That means your mouth and saliva is working overtime. Unfortunately, Tartar can build up over time, so be aware, and make sure to brush and floss every day to keep that smile bright!
Children’s Dental Center believes that education is the key to preventing childhood tooth decay. We’re committed to providing a forum where parents and pediatric dental professionals can discuss preventative dental care. We encourage parents, educators and doctors to check back frequently for more fun facts, articles and activities!