Calcium Deposits On Teeth: Symptoms, Removal and Prevention

Have you noticed hardened sticky substance on your teeth that have a yellowish to cream color and have terrible smell?, that is calcium deposits on teeth. You may see them on your teeth or notice them in other’s teeth. This sticky substance is called tartar or calcium deposits and is caused by calcium. 

The calcium is an important nutrient needed in the body and can be found in different places in the body. Calcium is needed for our digestion, muscles, nervous system and blood circulation to function very well. In fact, the body has abundance of this mineral. 99 percent of calcium is found in the teeth and bones (National Institute of Health, USA). It is this mineral that protect our teeth outer layer from decay, erosion and sensitivity to different temperatures.


Another name for calcium deposits on teeth is tartar or calculus. Calcium deposits occur when plaque found on the teeth gets thick and harden. The plaque is formed on the enamel part of the teeth, it is colourless, sticky and made up of bacteria in the saliva. When these plagues are left to remain on the teeth due to poor dental hygiene, it only gets thicker with time and become harden.

You can read on one of posts on how to remove tartar from the teeth in case you experienced any build up of tartar or calculus bridge. When the calcium builds up on the teeth and becomes harden, it is difficult to remove them by brushing your teeth. If left untreated, it results to other dental problems like tooth decay, gum diseases and others.


There are signs that can show you have tartar or calcium deposits on teeth:

(1) Bad breathe even after brushing the teeth: One of the causes of bad breath is harden calcium deposited on the teeth, this can result to bad breath that stays or lingers even after the teeth has been brushed.

(2) The teeth have a yellowish, brown or dark color: Apart from medications, certain foods or poor dental hygiene, calcium deposits can change the color of the teeth from white to yellow or brown color

(3) Bleeding gum after brushing: When the plague or calcium deposit on the teeth and into the gums, this will make the gums become weak, inflamed and bleed.

(4) Tooth loss in extreme cases: In cases where the plague or tartar has caused infection which has eaten deep into the tooth, the affected tooth can be extracted.

(5) Tooth abscess or infection: Due to infections on the teeth roots and gums, pus may develop. This pus is called abscess and can result to swelling, fever or difficulty in swallowing.

(6) Periodontitis or gum disease: When the teeth is not brushed or flossed, plague starts to build up and when they are thick and harden, it results to calcium deposits. With time, these deposits inflame the gum and bacterial growth resulting to infection or disease.

(7) Gum recession: Buildup of calcium deposits can cause the gums to recede.
(8) Cavities: You can have cavities and tooth decay which is caused by tartar.


It is not uncommon to notice stains or discoloration after braces are removed. However, these stains are not caused by calcium deposits most of the time. They can be caused by plagues which contain bacteria that causes the teeth to change color. The bacteria is usually from food and drinks leftover in the teeth. Although tartar may not occur but this can cause tooth softness and demineralization.


When plagues are still at the early stage, the best way to get rid of them is by brushing and flossing at least twice a day. However, when these plagues have become hardened resulting to calcium deposits, brushing is no longer an option.  You can remove them by seeking dental help, the dentist will use procedures like:

(1) Scaling

Teeth scaling is a deeper cleaning of the teeth to remove excessive harden tartar. It goes beyond the gumline to scrape out the plague. This procedure can be done using a hand-held metal instrument known as a curette or dental scaler, this thin instrument is inserted under the gumline to have access to the deposits there. The dentist can use ultrasonic instrument that has a metal tip and water spray, the metal tip scraps the tartar and the spray flushes the pocket.

(2) Polishing

Polishing is done to make the teeth enamel look shiny and smooth. Dr. Zachary Linhart, of Linhart Dentistry in Manhattan says polishing is done finally after dental cleaning. The first step during a dental cleaning appointment is to check for decays, calcium deposits. After these deposits are scraped off using scaling instruments, the teeth are polished to remove stains from the deposits and coated with fluoride to protect the teeth.

(3) Scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing is one of the steps used to treat gum disease which may be caused by calcium deposits. After the dentist must have scraped out the thickened plagues in the gums and on the teeth, the next step is to root plane. Root planing is done by smoothing out the teeth roots to help the gums reattach to your teeth (American Dental Association).


There may be cases where home remedies are needed to get rid of these plagues. The reasons can be financial restraints. According to Public Health Nigeria, some home remedies are:

(1) Orange peel paste: Make a paste using the inside of an orange peel and water and apply this on affected part of the tooth is believed to remove tartar. The orange peel is easily accessible and has a nice fruity smell.

(2)Baking soda: Instead of using toothpaste to brush, you can use baking soda. This will not only remove calcium deposits from the teeth but also make them whiter and giving you fresher breath. After using the soda to brush, you can leave it in the mouth for 15 minutes.

(3) Aloe vera: Aloe vera plant is not only good for the teeth but for the body, it can help in clearing skin blemishes and healing skin burns. To get rid of tartar, you can glide the aloe vera along the teeth and allow it to get into these deposits. 

(4) White vinegar: Mix half cup of water, 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and half a teaspoon of salt to prepare a white vinegar solution. This should be used twice a day to rinse the mouth. The acetic acid and other antibacterial properties in vinegar can help prevent how plagues are buildup.

(5) Strawberry and tomato paste: Mash tomatoes and strawberries together to make a paste, this paste should be applied on the teeth twice a week. It should be left for 5 minutes after which you rinse your teeth. Vitamin C foods can reduce calcium deposit buildup because of their antibacterial properties.


The best way to avoid having calcium deposits is by preventing plagues from developing into tartar. How do you prevent plagues from building up on your teeth.

(1) Flossing: Flossing after eating, most food particles hide inside gaps and spaces in the teeth, these particles cannot be removed by brushing and leaving them can cause buildup of plagues. The best way to remove these leftovers is by flossing at least once a day preferably at night. Be gentle while flossing so that you do not hurt the gums.

(2) Brushing: Brushing should last for at least two minutes and should be thorough. Every part of the teeth should be carefully cleaned to remove bacteria and plagues. The best option is to use an electronic toothbrush as it is more effective than manual.

(3) Eating habits: The foods you eat can help your teeth to grow more plagues and bacteria. Sodas, candies, sweets and other sugary foods are known to be unhealthy to the teeth especially when they are taken in excess. Eat balanced diet so that your body including the teeth can have enough nutrients to fight bacteria.

(4) Rinsing the teeth: Most times when brushing or flossing the teeth is not possible, the best thing to do is to rinse your mouth thereby relieving it of the leftover food particles that will turn to bacteria and affect the teeth.

(5) Dental visits: There are times that calcium deposits can occur even when you main good dental hygiene. You should see a dentist at least twice a year to thoroughly check every part of your teeth.


Calcium deposits are caused by plague buildup, this means that they do not magically appear, it happen immediately, the plagues must have been in the mouth for a long time to become harden and thick. Apart from giving the teeth a yellowish or brownish look which may make you uncomfortable, calcium deposits cause bad breaths that do not go away even after you have brushed. The best treatment for tartar is undergoing dental procedures like scaling, root planing and polishing. Remember that these treatment methods are only done by a dentist. 

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