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Definition of Tartar

Tartar: The hardened product of minerals from saliva and foods that accumulates in plaque around the teeth. Dental plaque and tartar cause periodontal disease, including inflammation of the bone surrounding the teeth. Tartar can become as hard as rock, becoming removable only by a dentist or dental hygienist with special tools.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5721
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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