Children's Sports and Dental Injuries

Children's Sports and Dental Injuries

How Tartar Leads to Bad Breath

by Lillian Dixon

Have you had your teeth cleaned recently? If not, you should be aware that tartar doesn't just look unattractive, it also gives you bad breath. So, although you can conceal tartar — to a certain extent — you can't always conceal its smell. But unless you know how tartar forms in the first place, you won't quite understand just how it might cause bad breath or halitosis.

Plaque Comes Before Tartar

In the morning, after you first brush your teeth, your enamel feels smooth to the touch. However, by midafternoon, when you run your tongue over your teeth, they will probably feel rough. You may also be able to see a yellow film on the surfaces of your teeth. This film, called plaque, is a mixture of food debris and bacteria. But the bacteria in this film are of the bad variety.

Early plaque, a film that dentists call the pellicle, contains good bacteria. When you run your tongue over the pellicle, it feels smooth, not rough. Moreover, good bacteria don't smell, bad bacteria do. So before you brush the plaque away, you may find that you have bad breath.

However, if you don't brush the plaque away for a few days or more, it will harden and become tartar — something you can't just brush off your teeth. This happens because minerals in your saliva, such as calcium and phosphorous, mix with plaque and eventually cause it to solidify on your teeth.

At this point, the risk of bad breath increases.

Plaque Sticks to Tartar

As you already know, plaque gives you bad breath. This is because bad strains of bacteria, such as streptococcus mutans, release sulphurous compounds in your mouth. Over the course of a day, bad bacteria replace the good bacteria in plaque, increasing the severity of your bad breath. But what does this have to do with tartar? Tartar makes it easier for plaque to form.

Because tartar contains minerals like calcium, as well as dead bacteria and old food debris, it is chalky and porous in texture. This is ideal for plaque formation since bad strains of bacteria need a rough surface upon which they cling to while they eat and multiply on your teeth. Hence, the easier it is for bacteria to remain on your teeth, the easier it is for them to multiply.

The more bacteria you have on your teeth, the more of the stinky sulphurous compounds you will have in your mouth and giving you bad breath.

If you haven't had your teeth cleaned in a while and your breath smells worse than usual, you should arrange for a dental cleaning at a nearby dental clinic. Remember, the less tartar you have, the less smelly bacteria you will have on your teeth.

For more information, contact a dentist.


About Me

Children's Sports and Dental Injuries

As a mum, I know how essential sport can be to children's development. Through team sports like soccer, kids learn persistence, sportsmanship and the value of supporting their team members. However, all that learning carries some risk as well, and a stray elbow or a ball to the face can result in oral injuries. I have been the mum rushing to the emergency room with a precious permanent tooth sitting in a cup of milk. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn't even sure if the cup of milk was the right solution. As a parent, you will face those situations, and I'm here to make sure you know what to do when they pop up. With this blog, let's explore children's dentistry and sports injuries together... I want you to have the info you need to stay cool, calm and collected, regardless of how many teeth are on the pitch.