Subgingival Calculus Definition, Composition, Removal, Colour, X-ray

What is Subgingival Calculus?

A hard buildup of mineralized plaque that develops below the gum line is called subgingival calculus, commonly referred to as tartar or dental calculus. It is generated by the buildup of minerals from saliva and the gums, which become trapped in the plaque that forms on the teeth. According to its structure and age, subgingival calculus can range in color from yellow to brown and is made up of minerals like calcium, phosphate, and carbonate.

The presence of subgingival calculus has been linked to a variety of dental issues, such as periodontal disease, gum disease, and bad breath. Moreover, it might irritate the gums, causing inflammation and bleeding. Subgingival calculus is too challenging to get out with normal brushing or flossing and can only be eliminated by a professional dental cleaning performed by a dentist or dental hygienist. Subgingival calculus can cause more severe dental issues including periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss if it is not treated.


The calculus that forms beneath the gum line is referred to as subgingival calculus. In most cases, it has a black appearance and cannot be seen promptly. When the gums become infected and start to recede, it might cause tooth loss if left untreated. The majority of the calcium in subgingival calculus comes from the remnants of anaerobic bacteria that have fossilized over time.

Subgingival Calculus Definition, Composition, Removal, Colour, X-ray


Both inorganic and organic materials make up the deposit known as dental calculus, which develops on teeth. The inorganic component of dental calculus is primarily composed of calcium and phosphorus, with smaller amounts of carbonate, sodium, magnesium, silicon, and iron. Calcium and phosphorus are the two most abundant elements in dental calculus. Similar to supragingival calculus, subgingival calculus contains hydroxyapatite but has a greater deposit. Dental calculus' organic portion is made up of a variety of microorganisms, including leukocytes, desquamated epithelial cells, protein-polysaccharide complexes, and desquamated epithelial cells.


Calculus is a hard deposit that accumulates below the gum line and on teeth. It is made up of microorganisms, food particles, and saliva that have dried out over time. If calculus is left untreated, it can lead to gum disease and ultimately tooth loss. Calculus can be eliminated using a variety of techniques. The removal of calculus and subgingival plaque is facilitated using ultrasonic instruments, which are electrically driven oscillating instruments that generate micro-vibrations. Curette is another type of device that is utilized in the process of removing deep subgingival calculus.


Subgingival calculus can have a range of colors based on its makeup and age. Subgingival calculus initially has a yellowish or light brown appearance, but over time it can deepen and take on a darker brown or even black appearance. Moreover, dietary choices, tobacco usage, and dental hygiene practices may have an impact on the color of subgingival calculus. Subgingival calculus is ugly, but more significantly, it can cause or exacerbate oral health issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Subgingival calculus must be eliminated in order to stop these dental issues, which require professional dental cleaning.


Dental X-rays can not find subgingival calculus because it is made up of mineralized dental plaque on the surfaces of teeth and dental prostheses. Inflammation of the gingiva is caused by bacteria deposited in subgingival calculus or plaque, which cannot be seen by x-ray imaging. It is only possible for a dentist to discover subgingival calculus by probing the gum pocket beneath the gumline with specialized dental instruments. Subgingival calculus is not particularly detectable with dental radiography.

Subgingival Calculus Definition, Composition, Removal, Colour, X-ray Subgingival Calculus Definition, Composition, Removal, Colour, X-ray Reviewed by Simon Albert on March 15, 2023 Rating: 5
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