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Black Tartar on Teeth: What Is It and What Are the Causes?

Tartar is a hard, calcified substance that forms on the teeth when plaque is not removed. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. When plaque is not removed, it hardens and turns into tartar. Tartar can form both above and below the gum line and can only be removed by a dental professional.

When it comes to tar, there are actually different kinds and colors. With that, it’s usually yellow but may turn black over time. Tartar buildup can lead to a number of dental problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Therefore, it’s important to remove tartar as soon as possible. 

On that note, is black tartar on teeth more concerning than the usual, yellow counterparts?

Breaking Down the Usual Suspects behind Black Tartar on Teeth

Before we answer the question, let’s take a look at what causes tartar in the first place. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth. If not removed, it will eventually turn into tartar. Several factors can increase the risk of plaque buildup, such as:

There are a few things that could be causing your black tartar. Here’s a look at some of the most common culprits:

1. Poor Dental Hygiene: If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you’re more likely to develop tartar. Plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on your teeth. If you don’t remove it, it can harden into tartar.

2. Smoking: Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your oral health. Not only does it increase your risk of gum disease, but it can also cause your tartar to turn black.

3. Certain Foods and Drinks: Coffee, tea, and red wine can all cause your tartar to turn black. If you consume these beverages regularly, you may notice that your tartar builds up more quickly.

4. Age: As you age, your risk of developing tartar increases. This is because your teeth become more porous, and your gums recede.

5. Damaged Enamel: If you have black tartar on your teeth, it’s likely because the enamel on your teeth is damaged. Enamel is the hard, outermost layer of your teeth, giving them their white color. When it’s damaged, it can allow bacteria and other particles to get trapped in the tiny cracks and crevices, which can then lead to tartar buildup.

Spotting (or Smelling) the Common Symptoms of Black Tartar on Teeth

While black tartar on teeth may not always be visible to the naked eye, there are still some telltale signs that can alert you to its presence. If you have black tartar on your teeth, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Foul breath;
  • Loose fragile tooth;
  • Calcified hard deposits on the tooth;
  • Swollen red-colored bleeding gums;

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s essential to see a dentist right away. Black tartar is not something that you can remove on your own, and it will only get worse if it’s not treated.

The Bottom Line: The Importance of Removing Tartar Build-Up on Your Teeth

Tartar build-up on your teeth can be unsightly and can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay. While brushing and flossing your teeth regularly help prevent tartar build-up, sometimes it’s inevitable. If you do find yourself with tartar on your teeth, it’s crucial to remove it as soon as possible and receive the appropriate treatment from your dentist.

If you are looking for a holistic dentist in Northampton, then you have come to the right place! Previously known as Clayton and Canby Dental, now Northampton Dental Specialists Group, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the highest quality of care possible.

No matter what your dental needs may be, we are here to help. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!