I have Black/White Buildup at the Gum-line.

Characteristics & what to look for

You may notice white or black buildup, also called tartar or calculus, at your gum-line if it has been a long time since you have been to the dentist. It builds up slowly over time, and you may not feel it happening.

Commonly mistaken for

White colored tartar is commonly mistaken for dental plaque while black colored tartar is commonly mistaken for stain or a cavity. Stain will typically be located all over a tooth and not just at the gum line, and a cavity appears as a depression in the tooth. Tartar sits on top of the tooth.

Causes and effects of the symptom

White buildup is new tartar, and it can turn black if it has been on your teeth for a long time. It is important to remember that plaque and tartar are composed of nearly 100% bacteria, and it is these bacteria that are responsible for causing gingivitis and periodontal disease. Once the bacteria reach a certain amount, your immune system is switched on to start fighting the bacteria. It is the response of your immune system that creates the inflammation associated with gingivitis and periodontal disease.

What you can do at home to help ease the symptom

There are tools that can be purchased to remove tartar at home, but we do not recommend these because it is easy to cause damage without proper training. A professional dental hygiene visit is the best way to safely remove tartar from above and below the gumline.

Treatment and how we can help with the symptom

Treatment to remove tartar involves using hand and power-driven instruments to effectively and completely remove the tartar buildup. Only a registered dental hygienist or dentist should treat this condition.

Take the first steps towards a white and healthy smile.

Long term effects if left untreated and negative progression

Failure to remove tartar in a timely manner can result in gingivitis or periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can lead to bone loss, tooth mobility and tooth loss if untreated.