What is Calculus and Why is it Bad For You?

How does plaque form?

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth when starches and sugar interact with the normal bacteria found in your mouth.

This is a fast process and plaque can form within 24 hours if it is not removed by brushing your teeth. At JVR Dental in Walnut Grove, we understand how important your oral health is. That is why we helped answer some common questions about calculus build up and plaque.

How does calculus form?

When plaque stays on your teeth for 2-3 days, it hardens and mineralize to form calculus (tartar) on your teeth. A high mineral content of your saliva will also increase calculus formation. This hard layer, calculus, will create a protective shield for bacteria on the teeth. The bacteria in the mouth releases acids which will break down your tooth enamel and lead to cavities and tooth decay.

If calculus is not removed it will irritate your gums and over time causes gum disease (gingivitis). Studies have also shown that bacteria in gum disease may contribute to heart disease and other conditions.


  • Brush twice a day.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles or an electric toothbrush
  • Use a tartar-control toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Floss
  • Eat healthy, limit the amount of sugar you eat.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Don’t smoke.

Because calculus is hard, it can be difficult to brush and floss your teeth effectively and you will need a profession dental cleaning at your dental office. If you would like to learn more about calculus build up and how to prevent it, please contact JVR Dental in Walnut Grove at 604-371-3138.