In short, tartar is the byproduct – a chemical reaction – of the plaque buildup on teeth and minerals in the saliva. It’s the same story in your own mouth, actually. Tartar begins life as plaque, and plaque is the result of not brushing. It’s the buildup of food particles, bacteria and other nastiness when you don’t get in there with some elbow grease from time to time.
The big problem with tartar is that it gravitates toward the vulnerable gum line, a nice portal to the rest of the body. Once tartar gets hold in the gums, it can cause real health issues, including infections.
So, again: Just like with your own oral health, or any aspect of your health, prevention is key! Take good care of those chompers.