Dental Calculus Formation

Published on April 20, 2012 by

A last maturation stage of some dental plaques is dental calculus . Some people do not form calculus, others form only moderate amounts, and still others form heavy amounts. Until supragingival (below the gums) plaque mineralizes as dental calculus, it can be removed by toothbrushing and flossing. As the plaque matures, it becomes more resistant to removal with a toothbrush, and significantly more pressure is required for its removal. Once dental calculus is formed, professional instrumentation is necessary for its removal.
Calculus itself is not harmful; however calculus needs to be removed because its presence makes routine oral hygiene more difficult or even impossible, and it may contribute to greater plaque accumulation and stagnation. Calculus formation is related to the fact that saliva is saturated with calcium and phosphate ions as well as other ions, such as magnesium, zinc, fluoride, and carbonate. Supragingival calculus that forms on the tooth crown frequently developing opposite the duct orifices (openings) of the major salivary glands and is often found where saliva pools on the lingual surfaces of the mandibular incisors. It can also form in the grooves of the tooth (called fissures). Subgingival calculus forms from calcium phosphate and organic materials derived from blood serum which contributes to its mineralization, and may be darker in appearance.

Filed under: Gum Disease

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