Black Tartar on Teeth: Causes & How to Get Rid Of It

When you need to remove black tartar on your teeth, you'll want to visit a dental professional. Bellevue Hill Dental can help you achieve a bright, healthy smile!

Black Tartar on Teeth Causes & How to Get Rid Of It

It takes a good dental routine to keep your teeth healthy and looking great. Unfortunately, if you don’t practise good hygiene habits, you can develop various dental problems. Cavities, gum disease, and dental conditions brought on by excessive tartar or plaque are some difficulties you might experience when you don’t take proper care of your teeth and gums.

What is Black Tartar?

Black Tartar is bacteria build-up around your gum line that eventually turns into a sticky film. Initially, you can remove this build-up with regular flossing and brushing. If you don’t remove it with good dental care, it will eventually become hard. This tartar may then become black because of staining. Dentists consider this a form of tooth decay. Once it becomes hard, it will require professional treatment to remove.

Causes of Black Tartar

External Causes

The number one external cause of black tartar is poor dental hygiene. Lack of regular brushing and flossing can contribute to this condition. An individual who doesn’t have routine dental cleanings may also be at a higher risk of having black tartar. Smoking and drinking liquids with dark colours, such as tea or wine, can cause discolouring of the tartar.

Internal Causes

A tooth will sometimes appear black on the outside, but the damage happens from the inside. Black tartar typically starts after plaque is on the teeth for a considerable time. Plaque forms from a combination of food particles, bacteria, and saliva. This will eventually lead to internal decay within a tooth. Specifically, a dead tooth or an infection in the pulp area begins within the tooth and ultimately spreads to the outer parts of the tooth.

Symptoms of Black Tartar

A few of the symptoms include the following:

  • Dark stains on and around the teeth are the most obvious sign of black tartar.
  • Bad breath is often a symptom of dental problems, including black tartar.
  • You may notice hard deposits on or around the teeth.
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums is a symptom of black tartar.
  • You may also experience teeth that feel loose.

How to Get Rid of Black Tartar on Teeth

There are a few different ways to remove tartar from your teeth. It is sometimes possible to remove it on your own if the condition is not very advanced. If the tarter is hard, you’ll likely need to have a dentist remove it professionally.

Hygiene Program

One of the first steps your dental professional may recommend is to improve your personal hygiene program. The following are several steps your dentist will likely want you to include in your daily routine:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily for two to three minutes each time.
  • Your dentist might advise you to brush after every meal.
  • Floss at least once each day.
  • Use toothpaste with tartar control and fluoride.
  • Visit your dentist for regular cleanings.


Scaling is when your dentist removes tartar and plaque below the gumline. This is a method a dental professional will use when there are different types of gum disease, including black tartar.

The scaling process involves numbing the area with a local or topical anaesthetic and gently removing the tartar. Depending on how much tartar your dentist needs to remove, the entire process may require more than one visit. After finishing scaling, your dentist will likely follow up with root planing. 

Root Planing

Root planing involves smoothing the tooth root after the scaling process is complete. Your dentist will do this so the gums can reattach to the tooth. After the entire process is complete, you will see a noticeable difference in the colour and feel of your teeth.

How Can Bellevue Hill Dental Help?

Black tartar is build-up around your gum line that eventually becomes hard and discoloured. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of this condition, you’ll want to make an appointment with a dental professional. If brushing and flossing are no longer enough to remove the tartar, your dentist will want to make an appointment to start the scaling and root planing process.

Are you struggling with black tartar? At Bellevue Hill Dental, we can develop a plan to remove tartar and give you back a healthy, beautiful smile. We provide general dentistry, children’s dentistry, as well as cosmetic procedures. Our accredited dental practice features state-of-the-art equipment and convenient claims processing. Whether you need tartar removal, teeth whitening, orthodontics, or general dental work, Bellevue Hill Dental offers quality dental care for your entire family.

Book an appointment today.

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