tartar, dental

tartar, dental,

precipitate of saliva that accumulates around teethteeth,
hard, calcified structures embedded in the bone of the jaws of vertebrates that perform the primary function of mastication. Humans and most other mammals have a temporary set of teeth, the deciduous, or milk, teeth; in humans, they usually erupt between the 6th and 24th
..... Click the link for more information.
 at the gum line. Composed primarily of calcium salts, tartar forms as a hard brownish substance that irritates gums and causes them to recede. Inflammation of this tissue may lead to the recession and infection of the bones in which teeth are imbedded and result in the loosening and loss of teeth. As symptoms may not become apparent until serious damage has occurred, periodic dental visits for the removal of tartar are recommended.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/