Black Tartar on Teeth

You noticed black stuff on teeth that won’t go away no matter how hard you try brushing. If that’s the case, it might not be a regular stain. You are dealing with calculus or black tartar on teeth. This guide covers all details on how to tackle this dental problem. Whether you have black at the base of the tooth or in its upper section, here is what you should know about calculus and returning a perfect smile!

What Is Black Tartar?

Each meal you eat or beverage you drink helps bacteria to form in your mouth. That bacteria creates black plaque on teeth. It’s possible to remove it with flossing and brushing. But if you leave it untreated, it hardens and becomes black tartar on teeth.

Calculus will stain and become black. Apart from complicating your oral hygiene, it can be a precursor to different oral health problems.

What Complications Can Arise?

While tartar on teeth is primarily an aesthetic problem, it’s vital to treat it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you put your oral health at risk. If you notice black at the base of the tooth, it could be a sign of early tooth decay.

And if there is black between teeth and gums, it could irritate your gum line and cause inflammation. The research indicates almost every second adult over 30 in the United States deals with gingivitis. It’s the initial stage of gum disease that puts your oral health at risk. If you don’t treat it, it can become periodontitis. It’s a severe gum disease that often includes huge pain and teeth falling out.

Periodontitis is a health hazard for other conditions, such as diabetes, heart, and respiratory diseases. That’s why it’s best to deal with black stuff on teeth near gums as soon as possible.

Causes of Black Tartar

Reasons behind black stuff on teeth aren’t that different from causes of other health problems. Here’s what could lead to tartar on teeth:

  • Improper oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you could end up with black stuff on your teeth. Plaque forms first and tartar later, which is why you shouldn’t let that plaque harden.
  • Bad eating habits. Sugary foods like candy are a huge oral health problem. It can lead to a variety of problems with your teeth. The same applies to processed foods rich in starch.
  • Poor drinking habits. It’s not only alcohol, although wine is among the biggest risks for tartar on teeth. You also want to avoid juices and sugary liquids.
  • Smoking. If you smoke, tooth discoloration is only a matter of time. And if you don’t have proper oral hygiene, the risk of tartar forming only increases.
  • Damage of trauma. If you hit your tooth, it could lead to enamel damage, making it more vulnerable to tartar.

Black Tartar on Teeth

Symptoms of Black Tartar

What’s the best way to recognize black tartar on teeth? Check out for these signs to identify a potential problem:

  • Dark discoloration on the tooth’s surface. Do you notice black at the base of a tooth or close to it?
  • Visible deposits. If you can see deposits on your teeth, it could be tartar or indicate a risk of it forming soon.
  • Bad breath. This is a common indicator you have an oral health issue.
  • Loose teeth and bleeding gums. It could mean tartar already migrated into gum disease, so make sure to check with your dentist immediately.

Does Black Tartar Mean Cavity?

A systematic review published in 2019 shows that black stuff on teeth near gums and cavities aren’t related. If you have tartar, that doesn’t mean you have a cavity. Furthermore, you might have a lower chance of developing it.

Can You Get Rid of Black Tartar on Teeth?

The first step is to get a  toothbrush with soft bristles. Next, get a fluoride toothpaste or one that mentions “for tartar and plaque.”

Once you have the necessary equipment, try to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Make sure you are dedicated to the process and sweep any plaque or deposit. The experts suggest using a water flosser since high pressure can help get any plaque out from tricky places. If that doesn’t work, the next step in how to remove tartar from teeth is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. A dental professional will use advanced equipment and suggest the best course of action for your specific situation.

Is It OK to Scrape Tartar Off Your Teeth?

You might be tempted to buy a plaque scraper and use it at home. However, that’s a huge risk since you can damage your teeth easily. It’s better to let a pro do the thing they are licensed and skilled for.

A dental professional will use tooth scaling to scrape your tooth surface. This deep cleaning will help deal with black stuff on teeth near gums. If necessary, the dentist will even go with root planning to clean below the gumline.

How to Prevent Tartar on Your Teeth

Prevention is the best medication, which applies to dealing with tartar. If you deal with the plaque, you won’t be at risk for tartar development.

The following are the best guidelines to follow to prevent calculus from appearing:

  • Brush and floss regularly. The experts suggest brushing in the morning and before you head to sleep. It’s mandatory to use high-quality toothpaste and brush your teeth for at least two minutes per session. As for flossing, once a day should be enough. Choose a water flosser along with the classic floss for better effectiveness.
  • Pay attention to what you eat. The first rule is to limit the sugar intake but avoid sticky and highly-processed foods, too. Additionally, try not to drink sodas and other sugary beverages.
  • Adjust your lifestyle. If you smoke or drink alcohol, try to limit those two habits as much as possible. Regular exercise and boosting your overall health can assist in avoiding oral health issues.


Tartar or calculus is black discoloration on your teeth. It looks ugly and ruins your perfect smile. It could also develop into a more serious oral health issue, and it’s vital to deal with it in time. You can try brushing and flossing, but if the black discoloration seems persistent, it’s wise to contact your dentist. Schedule an appointment to receive deep cleaning and consult on the best course of action to improve your oral health!