calculus bridge or tartar

Calculus Bridge/Tartar: Reason for the Formation, Prevention and Removal

in Oral Health by

When it comes to talking about Calculus bridge, some of us might have start thinking about tedious maths calculation, But the answer is NO. It is purely scientific term that comes into role when there is a discussion about our teeth. In layman language, it is a kind of layer formed on the surface of teeth destroying the natural whiteness of teeth. The word bridge is used as no space is left in-between the teeth. Here in this article, you will get to know about the reasons for the formation of calculus bridge and the possible ways to remove it. 

Before that let’s discuss more about the Calculus bridge which is commonly known as tartar. Yellowing or paling of teeth is quite common nowadays which is termed as plaque. When this plaque covers all teeth leaving no gap in between, which becomes hard and difficult to remove with brushing and flossing, it is termed as Calculus Bridge. Thus, calculus bridge is hard mass deposition of pale or yellowish color layer on the surface of the teeth leaving no gap in between.

calculus bridge

How Calculus bridge is formed?

  • Saliva is composed of number of microorganisms. Some microorganisms like streptococcus mutans is present everywhere in oral cavity. These bacteria can be called as King of tooth decay. These bacteria secrets acids after coming in contact with any sugary products, thus attacking the surface of the teeth, resulting in deposition on the surface of teeth. 
  • Calculus bridge can further lead to several dental problems as the bacteria adhering to the surface of the teeth can leach out to the gums. Gingivitis or bleeding gums is the initial stage of gum infection which can further leads to periodontitis.

Reasons for the formation of Calculus bridge:

As we have already discussed that if plaque is not treated, it becomes hardened with time and thus gets converted to Calculus Bridge, so here the question comes about the formation of plaque inside the oral cavity. So, let’s discuss about it;

  • Bacteria present in the salivary glands helps in dissolution of food and fluid inside the oral cavity, but along with that bacterial cells also multiply themselves and bacteria such as S. mutans gets deposit on the surface of the teeth where gums and teeth meet each other. 
  • Streptococcus species grows very fast when comes in contact with sugary foods such as chocolates and candies and forms a yellowish layer on the surface of the teeth which is known as  plaque.
  • It is mainly formed in between the teeth, on the front or behind the teeth along the gum line and predominantly on the molars. 
  • Thus, intake of sugary foods could be the most important factor for the development of calculus bridge in the oral cavity.
  • Smoking can also be an additional factor.
  • Avoiding brushing of teeth can synergize the impact of bacteria on the health of teeth.
  • High consumption of tea and coffee can also lead to the formation of plaque and calculus bridge which ultimately results in tooth decay and tooth loss.

 Signs to identify if your teeth have developed calculus bridge:

  • If your teeth have developed pale yellow color which is not even removed after brushing, it is an early sign that your teeth are one the path of decay.
  • Bad or foul smell of mouth is also a symptom which shows the growth of microorganisms in the oral cavity.
  • Inflammation and bleeding of gums which is caused by bacterial growth and formation of plaque is also leading you to dental problem.
  • Then comes the decaying of teeth and dental caries which further leads to tooth loss.

So, to prevent tooth decay and tooth loss, formation of plaque and calculus bridge should be avoided at early stages. As of now we have gathered enough information regarding the formation and causes of calculus, let’s know about its prevention and removal.

Prevention and removal of Calculus bridge:

It is said that Prevention is better than cure and I personally believe that prevention always starts at home. My point is why to look for dentist when you are about to lose your teeth, if just maintaining a good oral hygiene can serve the purpose and that to without paying a single penny to anyone. Yes…you heard right. You can avoid the formation of plaque or can remove it easily by just following two simple steps. Let’s talk about them;

  1. Brushing:  
  • Brushing your teeth twice a day can make you stay away from every dental problem. 
  • For further increment in oral hygiene, you can gargle with warm water or with mouthwash after every meal.  As bacterial growth is important for the formation of plaque and bacterial cells multiply when they come in contact with food and saliva, we can prevent their disposition inside the oral cavity by gargling after every meal. 
  • Although our saliva replenishes the bacteria and they keep on floating in the oral cavity, but still the damage can be avoided by following these simple steps.
  • You can also use citrus fruits to remove plaque from teeth as they contain Vitamin C which is very effective in stain removal.

2: Flossing:

  • Flossing can work in removing plaque from the location where a toothbrush cannot reach or we cannot see it in a mirror. 
  • It is estimated that forty percent of the plaque can be removed by flossing. Also flossing makes the teeth more shiny and brighter, adding an appealing look to your teeth and personality. You can imagine the difference between the personality and confidence of two persons; one who has pale yellow teeth and second with shiny and bright teeth.
  • Now choosing the right technique for flossing is also important, so always choose a floss with a length of 15-18 inch, then hold it in “C” shape and move it in an up and down direction. You can also use floss holder if you find difficulty in flossing with hands.
  • There could be some bleeding during flossing but you don’t need to worry about it. But if there is gum bleeding after a few days of flossing, then it is the question to concern with your dentist.

These were some techniques that can be used to avoid damage. But if you have already crossed this stage and has developed calculus on your teeth surface, you need to visit the dentist as soon as possible to prevent further decay of tooth.  Your dentist will remove the plaque either using hand tools or by using Ultrasonic scalers keeping in mind about factors such as age of the patient, amount of calculus presents etc. Now I am going to discuss more on these techniques. Let’s start with hand tools.

  1. Hand Tools: 
  • These are the instruments which are used to remove hardened plaque or calculus. 
  • Main factor which needs to be taken care of by professionals before using these hand tools are their Shape and Sharpness. 
  • These tools are designed in different shapes according to the region of plaque in oral cavity. Physicians take lot of care while selecting the exact tool for easiness and adaptability of the patient’s oral cavity. Design of the instrument allows better penetration.
  • Sharper instruments work more effectively and efficiently in removing hard plaque.

2: Ultrasonic Scalers:

  • This technique is mainly used for the removal of smaller deposits of calculus.
  • These work more efficiently than that of hand tools and thus results in more satisfactory results.
  • Ultrasonic waves make the tip of the scaler to vibrate and the vibration of the tip of the scaler removes the calculus.
  • They are mainly of two types; Piezoelectric and Magneto strictive depending on the vibration of the tip.
  • Piezoelectric vibrates in linear motion making two sides of tip to work whereas Magnetostrictive tip has elliptical vibrations due to which tips work from all sides.

3: More work is going on using Near Ultraviolet and Near Infrared Lasers to make effective methods for calculus removal from subgingival region.

Thus, these are some of the techniques used by professionals to remove calculus. Once you have visited your dentist, you will feel a change as you will get rid of the foul smell of your mouth and you will have shiny and bright teeth. Moreover, it further inhibits the growth and accumulation of calculus on your teeth surface.

Conclusion: 

Thus, concluding the discussion, here I can say you to maintain your oral hygiene. Try to avoid eating sugary foods as much as you can. It is more specific in case of children. Do visit your dentist every six months to avoid any damage to your teeth. Last but not least, brush twice and gargle with mouthwash or Luke warm water to maintain oral hygiene at home.

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