In dentistry, calculus or tartar is a form of hardened dental plaque. It is caused by the continual accumulation of minerals from saliva on plaque on the teeth. Its rough surface provides an ideal medium for further plaque formation, threatening the health of the gingiva (gums).
Brushing and flossing can remove plaque from which calculus forms; however, once formed, it is too hard and firmly attached to be removed with a toothbrush. Calculus buildup can be professionally removed with ultrasonic tools and specialized sharp instruments during a dental visit.
Read more about Calculus (dental): Etymology, Clinical Significance, Prevention, Sub-gingival Calculus Formation and Chemical Dissolution
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Famous quotes containing the word calculus:
“I try to make a rough music, a dance of the mind, a calculus of the emotions, a driving beat of praise out of the pain and mystery that surround me and become me. My poems are meant to make your mind get up and shout.”
—Judith Johnson Sherwin (b. 1936)