Imagine that you are brushing your teeth or enjoying your meal, and suddenly your tooth chips away. Before panicking, you should know that there is a possibility that it is not your tooth chipping away. The tooth enamel cannot just break off; it is the strongest tissue in our body. What you are mistaking for a broken tooth might actually be tartar breaking off teeth. Continue reading to learn why it happens and what you should take.
What is Tartar?
Our mouth has bacteria, some good and some bad. Some of these harmful bacteria form a sticky film on the surface of our teeth. This sticky film, or plaque, thrives on the sugar and acids from whatever we eat or drink, which can lead to tooth decay. We can get rid of the plaque bacteria by sticking to our oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing help remove plaque, but it forms every day. Therefore, if we do not clean our teeth at least twice a day, it can damage our teeth.
Over time, plaque hardens into tartar or dental calculus. Tartar is hard since it contains minerals present in saliva. Thus, only a dentist can remove tartar from our teeth. But, sometimes, tartar might start breaking off of teeth if you brush aggressively.
Is it Tartar Breaking off Teeth or a Chipped Tooth?
It is rare for the tooth enamel to chip away easily while we participate in day-to-day activities. Hence, the small tooth-like thing we feel in our mouth is usually not a tooth but tartar. Certain eating styles or brushing techniques can be responsible for the tartar breaking off teeth.
One can confirm its tartar by examining the broken piece. Tartar will be brown, dull yellow, and, sometimes, black in color. Moreover, it easily crumbles under pressure. Conversely, tooth enamel is strong enough that it does not break into pieces when we apply slight force.
What Should You Do When Tartar Breaks Off?
We cannot remove tartar at home; only a qualified and experienced dentist should be trusted to do so. Tartar breaking off teeth will leave a sharp spot behind. It might be tempting to break the leftover tartar by ourselves, but it can damage gums and teeth. Thus, we should avoid removing the sharp tartar on our own. Instead, we must immediately inform our dentists and visit them for proper treatment. Dentists have professional equipment to remove tartar, and they can inspect the area as well.
Preventing Tartar Build-Up
The good news is we can prevent tartar build-up and stop it from breaking teeth in the first place. In order to do that, we should:
- Dedicate two minutes of the day to brushing teeth at least twice a day.
- Regularly clean in-between teeth by using interdental cleaners
- Allot 30 seconds of your time to rinsing the mouth with a mouthwash
- Get regular dental cleanings and check-ups twice a year
So, What’s Next?
Aggressive brushing and eating food in a specific way can result in tartar breaking off teeth. If you feel something chipping away from your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Our experts at Smile 4 Ever Family Dentistry are here to help; just dial 281-213-5668 to schedule an appointment.