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Think dental plaque is nasty? Well, tarter is much worse, as it is actually hardened plaque formed from dead bacteria, saliva, food particles, and minerals. What's more, it looks disgusting, carrying a yellow-brown hue and forming around the gum line of your teeth.
Unlike plaque, which can be removed daily with a good brushing, once tartar forms it can only be removed with a full dental cleaning by a dental hygienist. Furthermore, once it forms initially, tartar tends to spread very quickly and can cause severe damage to your teeth and gums quickly.
Cleaning your teeth regularly can prevent tartar from forming in the first place, but if you do notice a crusty yellow or brown residue forming anywhere around your gumline that is not removed by a good brushing, you should find a dentist immediately to fix the situation before it gets worse.