O’Fallon Dentist Helps You Recognize Common Signs of Plaque and Tartar Accumulation

Written by Dr. Brace on Dec 19, 2023

Plaque and tartar can wreak havoc on your smile and lead to a host of oral health issues ranging from cavities to gum disease. Both plaque and tartar develop as byproducts of your daily routine—bacteria are bound together in a sticky film which then coats your mouth and eventually calcifies on your teeth (this is tartar).

If you are suffering from plaque or tartar build-up, your smile is at risk. Today our O’Fallon dentists are reviewing some common signs and symptoms of plaque and tartar issues so that you can seek prompt treatment if necessary.

Many times, the first problem that patients with plaque and tartar accumulation notice is persistent bad breath. The bacteria in plaque and tartar emit unpleasant odors when they feed and multiply. Many people find that no matter how diligently they brush and floss, they cannot maintain fresh breath—this means it’s time to talk to your dentist!

Additionally, you may actually be able to see plaque and tartar accumulation on your smile. Tartar is often white, yellow, or brown, and it is prone to building up in between teeth and in the spaces along your smile where your teeth meet your gum tissue. Plaque and tartar can make your smile look older than it is and generally dull and dirty.

You may also be able to feel plaque and tartar on your teeth. Run your tongue over your teeth—what do you feel? Clean and healthy teeth feel slick and smooth. If your teeth are coated in bacteria they’ll likely feel a little sticky, rough, or gritty; if your teeth feel this way it is a sign that you should see a dentist for a thorough cleaning!

Stay alert for these signs of bacterial build-up. Proper and timely preventive dental care can help you avoid the many oral health issues that accompany out-of-control plaque development. Our O’Fallon dentists are happy to give you more information—just give us a call to get started!