What is Tartar? Is it Bad for my dog and cat?

Tartar is also known as dental calculus.

It consists of hardened bacteria. This hardened bacteria, or tartar, occurs when dental plaque gets stuck on your pet’s teeth and then comes in contact with their saliva.


So what is tartar?


There are two types and one of them is more harmful than the other:


1. Tartar along the gum line

This type is called supragingival (above the gum) tartar.

It is often formed on the lingual surface of the mandibular anterior teeth – the outside of the large teeth in the upper jaw.


2. Tartar between the teeth and the gingiva

This kind of tartar is more harmful and is called subgingival (below the gum) tartar.

It thrives within the sulcus (gum pockets) between the teeth and the gingiva (gum).


Why is tartar bad for your pet?

If not taken care of at an early stage, tartar can lead to cavities and periodontitis (also known as gum disease and pyorrhea). These are a set of inflammatory diseases affecting the gum. Tartar could discolour the teeth and lead to bad breath.


Fact: Once plaque hardens and forms as tartar, it’s impossible to remove with just tooth brushing.


How do I spot tartar?

Initially, tartar is hard to spot.  It appears grainy and porous and usually has a chalk-like white colour. As it starts to harden, tartar turns darker in colour, usually in shades of yellow and brown.

Tartar is easy to spot above the gum, but not if it’s located below the gum.  Then it might be too late when you find out about the rock-hard layer of bacteria in your pet’s mouth.


How do I prevent tartar?

Now that you know what tartar is, how do you get rid of it? It is impossible to remove tartar by yourself just by brushing your pet’s teeth – it is stuck onto the teeth like concrete after all.

A veterinarian can remove tartar with professional techniques such as scaling.

But you can be your pet’s hero too.  You can prevent tartar from building in the first place!  Simply brushing your pet’s teeth every day will most certainly help.

There is also another measure against tartar that not everyone knows about. It’s green, 100% natural and works like a charm. Curios?

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