Calcium deposits can form on bones and teeth and is called calcification. Plaque or hardened calcium deposits can form on all soft tissues in the body like the gum tissues.
Food particles and organic secretions form deposits on our teeth and this can be caused by salts such as calcium carbonate. This is also known as calculus. These calcium deposits are more commonly called tartar and they form white spots on our teeth.
Poor dental hygiene can cause masses of harmful bacteria to thrive in the mouth. These adhere to our teeth and form plaque which when it hardens forms tartar or calculus.
Tartar can also form on the gums and cause inflammation of gum tissues. Untreated, tartar can create a wider surface for plaque to grow and this increases the chance of gum disease and cavities.
How Are They Caused
Calcium deposits or tartar deposits can buildup quicker as we grow older. It causes the brown or yellow discoloration of our teeth. When plaque is not regularly removed from teeth it hardens to form tartar.
Tartar buildup sticks very hard to teeth enamel and a dentist is the best person to remove this.
Dense plaque, tartar, calculus and mineral deposits, all due to poor dental hygiene would manifest in bad breath, unstable, discolored, stained and spotted teeth.
It leads to inflammation, which can advance into serious gum problems and bone loss if not attended to on time.
A course of either professional or home remedies can be chosen depending upon the level of calculus.
Hardened plaque sits firmly on teeth and requires treatment in the form of cleaning at the dentist.
The aim of cleaning is to avoid serious gum disease and a situation of shaky teeth that can further treatment needs. The options are varied as listed below.
Professional Remedies for Calcium Deposits
Debridement is the professional method to remove calcium deposits from our teeth. It is done for those with heavy calculus or tartar buildup and even to remove plaque. When we do not regularly visit a dentist, chances are that tartar will buildup over time making it difficult to remove with simple home remedies.
This means that the teeth below are fully covered, making it difficult for the dentist to examine them thoroughly. He will then use the debridement procedure to remove calculus.
The dentist will apply a local anesthetic or at least a numbing liquid on the gums for those with extremely sensitive teeth and who feel pain very easily. This also helps those with an innate fear of dental procedures to be able to tolerate the procedure.
The dentist then uses either an ultrasonic machine or hand instruments to dislodge tartar and plaque from the teeth. This equipment uses high frequency vibrations and water that helps to extricate hardened calcium deposits.
Once debridement is over, the dentist can examine the teeth thoroughly. Usually he or she will advise further treatment like scaling, root planning or in extreme cases even gum surgery.
2. Air Abrasion
Air polishing or abrasion is a drill-free and painless technique that can remove hardened plaque and tartar.
It uses a device that releases compressed air and flow of a microscopic aluminum oxide and silica or baking soda.
By directing the flow of air, tartar on the teeth and closer to the gum line can be targeted. The residual particles and debris are then suctioned away.
Air abrasion is less aggressive as there is no vibration, heat, noise and discomfort. There is also no need of anesthesia.
If pain intolerance is a factor and the calculus is above the gums, this technique is most appropriate.
Scalers and a set of manual tools are then used to remove remaining debris and buffer the surface of the teeth.
This is followed by applying a paste and polishing off any surface stains.
3. Non-surgical periodontal therapy/ Scaling and root planning
If tartar has affected the surface of teeth, below the gum line and has caused the gum line to recede substantially, scaling and root planning are needed.
‘Periodontal debridement’ is a deep cleaning method. It uses high-powered scalers or manual tools to remove tartar that have been mineralized with calcium.
Regular brushing and polishing would not work at this stage.
Scaling with ultrasonic tools
A high frequency device that vibrates and sprays cool water is used to nick stubborn tartar. Polishing tools are then used to refine the surface.
Anesthesia might be required depending on the level of sensitivity and treatment.
Post treatment, dentists may prescribe antibiotics and painkillers to ease discomfort in the form of swelling, redness and bleeding.
People with oversensitive teeth are better suited to scaling with manual tools.
Scaling with manual tools
This is a manual technique using a dental pick to scrape out tartar. The entire tooth is worked on until tartar breaks away.
This technique is very effective to clean in between teeth and the pockets. Anesthesia maybe required depending on the level of pain tolerance.
It is then followed by a polishing of the entire set of teeth to clean superficial stains.
A final polish wraps up the treatment to ensure all stains are taken care of.
Studies have shown that this method is known for smoother root surfaces although its efficacy on inflammation is not certain.
A combination of both methods is ideal to treat built up tartar and to achieve the best possible results.
In the end..
These are the best ways to treat gum disease especially when the gums have started to recede from teeth and lead to hardened mineral (calcium) deposits or tartar buildup on the roots.
These methods involve cleaning between gums using specialized tools that can even reach the roots of the teeth. Antibiotic fibers are then placed in these pockets between gums and teeth. This can prevent infection and quicken the healing process. After a week the antibiotic fibers will be removed.
Debridement, planning and scaling can all cause some side effects. After debridement, a person who had inflamed gums can feel soreness and sensitivity to hot or cold beverages. This is because in some cases roots will be exposed once tartar and plaque are removed.
Anyone with heart problems, impaired immune systems or have had recent surgery must inform their dentist before doing scaling and root planning. There could be a risk of infection with these methods and the dentist will recommend taking antibiotics both before and after the procedures to prevent this.
Home Remedies to Tackle Calcium Deposits on Teeth
Simple home remedies can prevent calcium deposits on your teeth. Once the dentist has removed tartar and plaque, he will advise you about various ways that you can maintain healthy teeth at home. Some of these are:
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling can be done with coconut or sesame oil. Coconut oil in particular being an anti-inflammatory can help swollen gums.
Regular oil pulling can soften hardened plaque and dislodge trapped debris. This can allow gums to heal and prevent any further damage.
1 tablespoon of coconut oil should be swished in the mouth for 15 to 20 minutes.
After spitting out, a thorough rinse and regular brushing should follow.
2. Baking Soda
Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is a handy home remedy for tackling tartar. It works to fight bad bacteria and raise oral pH levels.
To use baking soda, mix a teaspoon of baking soda in half a teaspoon of coconut or sesame oil into a paste. Use it on a toothbrush and brush for 2 – 3 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water.
A teaspoon of baking soda and salt combined can also have an abrasive action.
Dab a moistened brush into the mix and brush it on to scrub tartar. Keep topping up the mix as needed.
These techniques can be used once a week to avoid any damage to enamel.
3. Lemon and clove essential oil
Lemon oil is an abrasive and cleaning aid while clove has anti bacterial properties. Together they assist in cleaning out tartar and toxins.
Mix a drop each of clove and lemon essential oil to a half a teaspoon of a carrier like coconut oil.
Dip a toothbrush into the mix and brush for 2 – 3 minutes into the areas that need cleaning. Follow up with a 30 second water rinse.
4. Green tea – soda bicarbonate
Polyphenols in green tea have numerous benefits from reducing inflammation to maintaining optimum dental health.
Studies have proven that a cup of green tea a day can prevent tooth loss and the formation of bad bacteria.
Mix a tablespoon of green tea to a teaspoon of soda bicarbonate. Immerse a toothbrush into the mix and brush for around 3 minutes.
Target areas that require cleaning, reaching for crevices and gaps. Rinse out with water after.
Swishing green tea before brushing for around 5 minutes to avail of its benefits can be an effective remedy.
5. Olive Oil – turmeric
Olive oil contains oleuropein and fat that forms a protective film over teeth thwarting the formation of bad bacteria and preventing tooth loss.
Turmeric a well-known spice has anti-inflammatory effects; together they form an amalgam to fight tartar.
Combine a teaspoon each of olive oil and turmeric to form a thick paste.
Apply it on to a toothbrush and clean teeth for around 3 minutes. After this, rinse with water.
Similarly, swish olive oil for around 5 – 10 minutes to remove toxins and protect teeth.
6. Neem oil – turmeric
Studies have proven neem oil powerful in decreasing levels of plaque and tartar, while turmeric decreases inflammation.
Mix around 4 – 5 drops of neem oil to a teaspoon of turmeric to form a paste. Smear it on to a toothbrush and scrub teeth for around 3 minutes. Follow up with a water rinse.
Neem oil can also be rubbed on to the gums to decrease inflammation. Alternatively, it can be diluted in water to swish in the mouth for about 2 – 3 minutes before brushing teeth.
7. Sea buckthorn oil
Sea buckthorn can help through its abrasive, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties. The oil can be applied directly to gums to ease any swelling.
It could be added to a morning routine by swishing a few drops for about 2 – 3 minutes; followed by regular brushing, until plaque and tartar have cleared.
8. Xylitol chewing gum
Xylitol has many benefits from creating an alkaline environment in the mouth to curbing bad bacteria.
Studies have shown that chewing Xylitol can help in decreasing gum inflammation; adequately distribute minerals like calcium and decrease plaque and tartar in the mouth.
Tips to Prevent Calcium Deposits on Teeth
Tending to dental health on a daily basis and regular check ups at the dentist ensure the best outcome for teeth.
Listed below are ways to work around to prevent damage and upkeep oral health and hygiene.
Brushing and flossing
Twice daily brushing and flossing tops the list. The technique used to brush and reach out for areas that store plaque and tartar is very important.
Start in a particular area, position the brush downwards (at the gum line) and brush upwards to dislodge debris stuck in gaps and pockets.
A problem area that traps tartar is at the back of the teeth. Spend more time brushing downward at the back of teeth. Areas that the toothbrush can’t reach are aimed with dental floss to make squeaky-clean.
Use roughly a meter of floss; roll some of it around the middle finger of one hand and the rest on the other. Use the thumbs as support.
Floss one area, open out the reel and floss the adjacent parts. It’s important to gently slide up and down the tooth and not scrape just the bottom for maximum benefit.
If cases with tartar and sensitive gums, bleeding is likely. However, on flossing regularly these areas will heal to reveal healthy pink gums.
Toothpaste containing zinc is particularly effective in confronting calcium deposits.
Studies have proven that it helps by working on neutralizing the pH of the mouth and the effects last after eating.
A motorized toothbrush with soft bristles, can extract solidified calcium deposits to clean teeth and boost healthy gums. Timely replacement of a worn out toothbrush also keeps teeth in great shape.
An alcohol free mouthwash with fluoride helps with calcium build up. A 30-second swish twice each day is beneficial as part of a tooth-cleaning routine.
A water pick can help to remove calcium deposits plaque and tartar from teeth.
Use a mirror, to spot areas that need cleaning.
Direct the water pick to work on those areas flushing out tartar, spit and rinse.
These tablets are convenient in highlighting areas that we tend to miss when brushing. The colors react with stains to point out the areas in blue or red.
Pop a tablet into the mouth after brushing; rinse it around for 2 minutes to spot areas that have been missed. Re-do those areas.
Foods to avoid
In addition to dental care routines, certain foods should be cut out off the menu that contribute to tartar and calcium deposits.
Sugar and sticky foods and those that contain additives add to bad bacteria.
Foods that contain phytic acid, such as grains, nuts, and legumes increases calcium deposits, thus negatively affecting gums and underlying bone structure.
Foods to consume
Certain foods can both prevent and reverse problems caused by calcium deposits, plaque and tartar and promote healthy teeth.
Consume a litre of water everyday to flush out toxins. Foods that are crunchy and have high water content produce more saliva to stop the formation of bacteria.
Their grainy consistency can clean teeth surfaces, removing plaque and food particles and Evidence suggests that probiotics like yogurt help decrease plaque and promote healthy gums.
Fermented and sprouted beans and grains are also more advisable to consume. Studies have shown that fatty fish high in omegas lower inflammation vital to dental health.
Adding the super food turmeric that contains curcumin, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions is beneficial to dental health.
Turmeric stops bacteria that contributes to the growth of calculus and prevents gum disease. Including herbs in remedial measures such as thyme, myrrh and neem are great for healthy gums and teeth.
Evidence has shown that, foods that contain polyphenols may slow the growth of microbes leading to plaque and tartar; prevent gum disease, cavities and bad breath.
Sources of polyphenols include black and green tea, various berries, cloves, cocoa etc.
Calcium deposits are thus caused by a mix of internal factors precipitated by external factors and neglect.
It can be revered at the dentist with minimally invasive procedures depending on the severity of the situation.
If it hasn’t affected the gums, efforts home remedies can prove effective. These remedies often deem effective with user – discretion adapted to personal needs and preferences.
Regular dental care however is the answer to avoid calcium deposits and even decrease the frequency of dental visits.