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October 2020

Lexington Dentists

One of the most common questions that Lexington dentists receive is, are plaque and tartar the same thing? By understanding the differences between the two, you will be better able to prevent them or take the appropriate treatment if they should build up on your teeth. Let’s take a look at plaque and tartar so that you will know how to correct them and preserve your beautiful smile.

Have questions? Contact our Lexington dentists today! Our office accepts new patients.

Plaque

Plaque is a sticky, colorless substance that can accumulate around your gum line. It develops due to the presence of food debris and oral bacteria that feed on foods, particularly ones that contain sugar. Although you cannot normally see plaque, it can still greatly damage your teeth. The bacteria found in this sticky biofilm produces acids that can lead to cavities, gum disease, or tooth pain.

The good news is that plaque can be easily prevented by sticking to your at-home dental hygiene routine. By keeping your commitment to brushing and flossing daily, plaque should not be a great concern to you.

Tartar removed during a dental cleaning | Lexington dentists

Tartar

Medically known as dental calculus, tartar is an accumulation of plaque that has not been removed. It appears somewhat differently from plaque. Tartar has a yellowish or brown color and represents plaque that has hardened, making it difficult to remove.

Tartar forms when minerals contained in your saliva react with accumulated plaque on your teeth. Tartar can discolor your teeth, lead to tooth loss, gum disease, and cavities. By daily removing plaque with your oral hygiene routine, you can prevent the formation of tartar completely. However, existing tartar should be examined by Lexington dentists. Existing tartar may be causing additional issues like gum disease.

Gum Disease

If plaque and tartar are not dealt with on a timely basis, they can be extremely destructive to your gums and teeth. Commonly known as gum disease, periodontal disease is a serious infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. An early form of periodontal disease called gingivitis can be treated by your Lexington dentists.

In fact, gum disease is reversible at this point. Left untreated, gum disease can eventually cause your teeth to loosen and fall out. That is why it is so vital to maintain proper oral health habits at home, and don’t neglect your appointments for dental cleanings.

Treating and Preventing Plaque and Tartar

As mentioned earlier, you should be able to keep any accumulation of plaque at bay simply by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Preventing plaque means that you will never develop tartar. Restricting your intake of sugary foods and beverages also helps to prevent the accumulation of plaque.

Dental Cleanings

Other than keeping up with your regular oral care routine at home, the best way to prevent plaque and tartar is by visiting your dentist for regular dental cleanings. If plaque has hardened into tartar, it can only be removed by a dental professional. Your dental hygienist can use a dental scaling tool to remove any tartar from your teeth, which should prevent gum disease and other problems if performed early enough.

Schedule Your Appointment

Contact our Lexington dentists today! Our team is highly skilled and educated to assist your individual needs. New patients are always welcome and many insurances are accepted. We look forward to assisting you.

Dental Implants Lexington MA

Do you have one or more missing teeth and are looking for a treatment that works for you? If so, you will likely find yourself looking into dental implants, bridges and dentures. Each of these are common choices to help restore your smile when you find yourself with missing teeth. But you will need to know the differences between each so that you can make an intelligent decision about your oral care.

What are dentures?

Dentures are one option for replacing missing teeth involving the placement of removable appliances. If all of your natural teeth are missing, whether from tooth decay or injury, or gum disease, dentures can improve your appearance and your health. This is because these appliances make it easier to speak and eat better than you could without teeth.

Losing all of your teeth can cause your facial muscles to sag, making you look significantly older than your actual age. If you have dentures, your facial appearance will be filled out more, helping your facial profile. Dentures can closely match the appearance of your natural teeth and improve the appearance of your smile.

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is one or more replacement teeth that fill the space left by missing teeth. This creates a more natural appearance and helps to restore the patient’s smile. The most common type of bridge, the traditional bridge, involves one or more false teeth held into place using dental crowns that are cemented to adjacent teeth.

Older couple smiling | dental implants Lexington ma

What is a dental implant?

Dental implants consist of a titanium post that is placed into the jawbone. An abutment is placed over this post followed by a crown to serve as a chewing surface and to give the appearance of a natural tooth.

After the initial placement of the titanium post, your jawbone will fuse around this post to firmly anchor the implant. The abutment and crown are placed over the titanium post in a subsequent appointment. In some cases, a bone graft is necessary before the placement of an implant.

Properly cared for, dental implants can be expected to last for a lifetime.

What are the differences between dental implants, bridges and dentures?

Of the three, bridges and dentures share the most in common. They are not implanted within the jaw, but the main difference is that dentures are removable, while bridges are fixed appliances.

Dental implants are by far the superior treatment choice for replacing missing teeth. They offer results that last longer than other treatment alternative by decades. They are also firmly attached to the underlying jawbone, so they will never slip or lead to problems with eating or speaking.

Schedule Your Appointment

If you have one or more missing teeth, we invite you to contact us to further explore your treatment options. At Lexington Smile Studio, we offer a variety of services to assist every unique smile. Schedule your consultation today.

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