Home » Conditions » Tartar

Tartar can be defined by the build-up of matter around the teeth and gums. Texturally tartar is hard and visually will have some discolouration like a yellow or brownish colour. It builds up around the base of the teeth at the gum line.

What causes tartar?

Tartar is caused by poor oral hygiene, when a person doesn’t properly clean the plaque build-up off their teeth and gums, it eventually combines with minerals, saliva and bacteria and hardens to form tartar.

How to prevent tartar?

It’s super important that you prevent tartar from building up. Tartar can lead to gum disease, damage to the enamel of the tooth, and tooth loss. The following guidance will help limit the chance of tartar from developing:

  • Flossing at least once a day.
  • Brushing at least twice a day for no less than two minutes each time.
  • Attending routine check-ups every six to twelve months with your dentist.
  • Reduce your consumption of sugary food and drinks.
  • For those who have teeth prone to cavities and staining, you may be able to get a sealant applied to the teeth.

How to treat tartar?

Do not attempt to remove tartar at home. Trying to remove tartar at home using sharp objects can lead to you being harmed or irreversible damage of the tooth. Contact your dentist and they will book you in for an appointment.

Tartar is removed through a scale and polish. First, the tooth is scaled removing any build-up, with the use of vibrations and pressurised water and air. The tooth is then polished once the build-up is completely removed, the polish contains a fine powder with makes the tooth feel and look smooth and shiny.

How to spot tartar/symptoms?

Tartar is quite easy to spot once you know the identifying characteristic of it:

  • Has a hard texture.
  • Yellow or brown build-up (is not the natural colour of a tooth).
  • Bad breath.
  • Sore/ tender gums.
  • Swollen gums.


Where are we?

Just a short-walk from the nearest tube and DLR stops, German Dental is conveniently situated in the City of London, opening Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm for appointments.


German Dental Clinic
1-3 College Hill
Lower Ground


Nearby Tube Stations

Cannon Street

Cannon Street

0.2 miles


0.4 miles


0.4 miles

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