What Is a Calculus Bridge?
A calculus bridge is a massive buildup of calculus, or tartar, on more than one tooth surface. When plaque remains on the teeth surface for a long time it turns into calculus, which becomes darker in color and claylike denser in texture.
As calculus begins to advance down into the gum line, it can be extremely dangerous and can cause many dental complications ranging from cavities and caries to severe gum diseases. As per research, calculus can form in just one to 14 days of plaque formation.
At TruCare Dentistry, we know how dangerous calculus bridges are to your oral health. In this blog post, we discuss the side effects of calculus bridges, procedures to remove them, and tips to prevent them.
Side effects of calculus bridges
Calculus bridges occur when the dental plaque is not removed on time. As they go on piling up, calculus bridges can cause many side effects to the teeth and oral health. Here are some of them.
The medical term for persistent bad breath, halitosis is one of the most common signs of calculus bridges. Not every bad breath can be termed halitosis. The breath after eating certain types of pungent foods or after waking up can be cleared by brushing and using mouthwash. But in the case of halitosis, the bad breath is so chronic that it does not go away even after repeated brushing or using mouth freshener or mouthwash. It can cause many types of gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gum infections
Gum infections are among the most common side effects of calculus bridges. The early stage of bacterial infection is known as gingivitis, in which the gums become red, swollen, and bleed from inflammation. Gingivitis, however, can be reversed with the right oral hygiene and a nutritious diet. But in the advanced stages of gum infections such as periodontitis, the gums become severely inflamed, and pockets of pus form between gums and teeth. If periodontitis is not treated on time, it can cause tooth loss as well as deterioration of the jawbone and dental tissues.
- Receding gums
Receding gums are another common complication caused by calculus bridges. If the gum infections are not treated on time, the bacterial progression corrodes the connective tissue and exposes the roots of teeth. That not only leads to receding gums but also results in massive bone loss.
- Cavities and caries
When calculus bridges stick on teeth for long the bacteria in them emit acids as a byproduct. As the acids corrode the enamel, cavities and caries are formed on the dental surface. If left untreated, cavities can advance to the dentin and pulp and cause sensitivity, pain, infection, abscesses, and many other dental complications.
- Tooth loss
Tooth loss is among the most common side effects of calculus bridges. If cavities, gum infections, and tartar buildup are not treated on time, the complications can ultimately result in tooth loss.
Procedures to remove calculus bridges
Professional dentists can remove calculus bridges by using their expertise, experience, and of course, many specialized tools. The removal procedure of calculus bridges mainly happens in three phases.
- Dental scaling: This is a cleaning procedure in which a dental hygienist uses specialized tools to remove calculus deposits from the enamel of teeth as well as below the gum line. The dentist generally uses a dental scaler, a handheld tool with a small hook on the end, which remove calculus deposits quite efficiently.
- Polishing: After dental scaling, the dental professional will smooth out the tooth surfaces. This not only enhances teeth’s appearance but also prevents bacterial buildup as the enamel becomes extremely polished.
- Deep cleaning: This procedure, also known as scaling and root planning, eliminates calculus bridges most efficiently. In this stage, the dental hygienist applies local anesthesia to the gums and scrapes away calculus from the crowns of teeth and below the gum line.
Tips to prevent calculus bridges
Not letting plaque stick to the tooth surface is the key to preventing calculus bridges. Some basic yet extremely effective methods prove to be extremely useful in the prevention of calculus bridges.
- Proper dental hygiene and oral care: Brush at least two times for two minutes each time daily. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and good-quality toothpaste with high fluoride. Place the brush on your teeth at a 45-degree angle and brush gently using small circular motions. If possible, use an electric toothbrush or replace the regular toothbrush after every two months. Floss at least once daily, preferably before going to bed, using an oral irrigator or a pre-threaded flosser.
- Limit acidic and sugary foods: Acidic and sugary foods provide an extremely conducive environment for bacteria to multiply. When the bacteria reach sugar, the plaque buildup happens on the teeth surface in a relatively short time and the calculus bridges form rather quickly. If you are fond of acidic and sugary foods, limit them in your diet. Avoid completely if you can.
- Avoid frequent snacking: Eating between meals is one of the major reasons for plaque buildup. Make it a point to have meals at the predetermined time and avoid snacking on unhealthy foods. When you feel the urge to relish a snack, chew sugarless gum. You also can treat yourself to occasional healthy delicacies such as slices of fruit.
- Get rid of bad habits: Smoking and chewing tobacco can affect dental health and cause many health complications. Chewing gum or using nicotine patches can help you quit cigarettes and other tobacco products. Apart from tobacco, quit other unhealthy habits such as drinking alcohol. If you’re a big coffee or tea drinker, consume in moderation.
- Use tartar-control toothpaste: Two leading studies – a review and a clinical trial – found that tartar-control toothpaste, which contains both fluoride and triclosan can eliminate tartar buildup and prevent calculus bridges.
- Remain well-hydrated: Bacteria and plaque thrive in a dry mouth. But their growth is stunted when the mouth is well hydrated. Water promotes saliva production, which plays a huge role in reducing plaque buildup. Water also contains fluoride, which is extremely beneficial for teeth.
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleaning: If you’re a healthy adult, you should visit a professional dentist at least twice a year for a routine dental checkup and professional cleaning. Using specialized tools, a dental professional can easily find out if there is any plaque buildup or other dental complications. In a professional cleaning session, they will remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach places using specialized tools.
On the whole,
Calculus bridges are not only unpleasant to look at but are extremely dangerous to one’s oral health. If not removed on time, they can lead to severe dental problems such as halitosis, gum disease, cavities, receding gums, and tooth loss.
At TruCare Dentistry, we treat calculus bridges and provide dental checkups and professional dental cleaning, which can prevent the formation of tartar. If you’re looking for the best dentist in Roswell, GA, or neighboring areas such as Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Milton, Sandy Springs, or Woodstock, call (678) 321-7575 to book an appointment today. To know more about our services, visit our website.