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Black Tartar on Teeth: Causes and Removal

2 May, 2022 | Health BM | No Comments

Black Tartar on Teeth: Causes and Removal

Black Tartar

We all know it is important to brush twice a day, floss regularly, and use a ton of mouthwash to avoid diseases building up inside your mouth. However, no matter many products you use- a few food and lifestyle habits can lead to dark spots or black stuff building up around your gums. This is called tartar.

The buildup of black tartar on teeth can be caused by many reasons- from natural trauma to having unhealthy snacking habits. Yes, dental hygiene can help you delay or avoid getting a black stain on your teeth. But, lack of diligence can lead to both decay and the buildup of stubborn tartar. 

But what causes black tartar?

Generally, the main cause of black tartar is usually dismal oral hygiene and the lack of regular dental checkups. Tartar that forms under the gum line is called subgingival tartar, and it turns black due to mixing with proteins and pigmentation in blood. There are multiple reasons why tartar or plaque may build up.

Bad oral hygiene:

Bad oral hygiene means failing to comply with basic advice (e.g., brushing twice a day, flossing after brushing, and regular dentist visits). It also means compromising on the quality of the products you’re using. When it comes to oral hygiene, never compromise in either habit or in quality.

Food and beverages:

If you’re maintaining good oral hygiene and making regular appointments at the dentist but there still seems to be a darker hue on your teeth- this may be due to bad food habits.

  • Colored beverages. Regular consumption of beverages like coffee and wine may lead to staining on teeth. This is due to the coloring agents mixed with those drinks getting embedded on the enamel covering each tooth.
  • Sugary or starchy food. No matter how many times a day you brush or floss your teeth, there will always be bacteria in your teeth. And these bacteria thrive in sugary and starchy environments. While being exposed to glucose-based agents like sugar, they release harmful acids, potentially permanent stains on your teeth.
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products. Smoking and consumption of tobacco products lead to a buildup of tar on the inner side of your teeth. 


Trauma or damage to the covering of each tooth (enamel) may lead to a dark hue or stains on the teeth.

And how to remove black tartar?

Sadly, there is no permanent remedy for black tartar on teeth that can be done at home. However, dental science has come to the point where your dentist can care for you. The process of removal of tartar is called deep teeth cleaning. The procedure is as follows:

  • Firstly, your gums are anesthetized using a numbing gel and dental numbing shot with Lidocaine.
  • In the second stage, all calculus buildup above and below the gum line is removed.

This is called scaling and root planing and is usually completed in two visits (addressing one half of your mouth in one visit and the second half in the other visit). A great way to remove black tartar on teeth is with a teeth whitening kit.

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