Difference Between Plaque And Calculus

Plaque and calculus are two of the most significant dental terminologies. You might have heard these terms on the television in the toothpaste, toothbrush and mouthwash commercials. In addition, several dental hygiene companies boast their products’ ability to prevent and remove plaque, calculus or tartar.

So you might wonder about the difference between plaque and calculus. But before you learn about the difference, you should know what these terms mean?


A transparent layer combined with bacteria and sugar formed on your teeth is called plaque. You would not be able to notice the plaque buildup with the naked eye. But if you slowly move your tongue over the teeth, you would be able to feel it, as it might be quite sticky.

A tiny amount of plaque for a few hours would not do any harm to your teeth. That is because it can be cleaned with a toothbrush. But you might not want to wait for too long to clean it, as it grows quite quickly. It also secretes acid that could prove to be harmful to your teeth. Acid is one of the primary causes of dental issues like periodontal problems, cavities, tooth loss, gingivitis (and other gum diseases). Therefore, one of the most vital factors in maintaining oral health is containing plaque buildup. Before talking about the difference between plaque and tartar or calculus, you should understand what calculus is.


When the plaque buildup is not cleaned for a few hours, it hardens up to form calculus. So if you are wondering about the differences between tartar and calculus, there is a simple answer. They are just different names for the same dental issue. When you don’t clean the plaque properly during brushing or flossing, it combines with the minerals in your saliva and forms tartar. So the only plaque and tartar difference are that plaque can be cleaned away, but once it is converted into tartar, you can’t remove it.

The accumulation of calculus makes discolouration on the teeth right under the gums. So the root cause behind several oral and dental problems is calculus. Another difference between dental plaque and tartar is that plaque can be easily cleaned at home with a toothbrush. But that’s not the case with tartar or calculus. So you would require professional cleaning services from a dentist at least twice a year.

What’s The Difference Between Plaque And Tartar?

The most significant difference between plaque and calculus or tartar is the thickness and firmness of the buildup. The softness of the plaque makes it easier for the person to clean it with the help of a toothbrush. But since calculus is harder, it is not easy to clean it. So you would need a professional cleaning from a dentist.

Another thing you need to remember is that despite regularly brushing your teeth, there would still be plaque left on the teeth. So visiting a dentist regularly would be quite beneficial in removing the plaque buildup efficiently.

Be sure to visit the dentist at least twice a year to keep your oral hygiene in check. It is the only way to effectively remove the plaque and prevent it from converting to calculus.

How To Remove Plaque And Calculus?

One of the most frequent queries put forward by patients is “How can you remove plaque and tartar at home?”. Of course, plaque can be removed at home with regular brushing and flossing. But as we mentioned earlier, there might still be some of it left on the teeth. Therefore, you might want to visit the dental clinic regularly to effectively remove the plaque and prevent it from converting to calculus.

But when it comes to calculus, you can’t clean it at home. Certain clinics and dentists use X-rays to examine your teeth and check the calculus buildup. That will help the doctor determine the most effective treatment for the calculus. They can easily clean the calculus around the gum. But when it reaches its roots, it would become more complicated. So the doctor uses treatments like a treatment called root planning. It uses periodontal curettes and ultrasonic scanners.

If you are looking for excellent dental hygiene, come over to Lifeberries Healthcare, and we’ll provide you with the best treatment. In addition, our experts will be happy to answer queries like “differences between plaque and tartar”. So log on to www.lifeberrieshealthcare.com and book your appointment today.

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