Tartar is held together by two factors: electrostatic attraction and mechanical adhesion. Dissolving tartar successfully is to take advantage of the limitations of these factors.
Dental tartar is comprised mainly of Calcium Phosphate Salts. The components are ionic by nature, meaning they have an extra electron in their basic composition. This makes the each ionic component attract to the same areas of tooth surfaces. All that is needed is to make each ionic component electrically neutral is to introduce a positively charged ion that will be electrostatically attracted to the negatively charged component.
As Periogen is applied to tartar accumulations via swishing, an oral irrigator or subgingival applicator, positive ions, (micro-quantities of sodium fluoride in the case of Periogen) attach themselves to tartar components and thus make them electrically neutral. These new neutralized tartar components are no longer attracted to tooth surfaces and other tartar, and will float away and be flushed out of periodontal pockets by crevical fluid movement and subsequent applications of Periogen via oral irrigation.
This tartar-neutralizing process destabilizes the top and side layers of tartar formations with each new Periogen application, until the tartar formations are overwhelmed at the core and fall off tooth surfaces.
The ability of tartar to mechanically attach to tooth surfaces is directly related to how porous each surface is. Enamel is not particularly porous, whereas dentin and cementum (located below the gum line) are very porous. The more porous the tooth surface, the more aggressively tartar attaches mechanically by forming around microscopic edges and irregularities in the tooth surface. This is why tartar on enamel is more easily dismissed by hygienists than tartar below the gum line attached to dentin and cementum.
This mechanical adhesion is the result of ionic components piling on each other via electrostatic attraction. Mechanical adhesion of tartar is dismissed by the same factors noted above. Neutralize the ionic tartar components that are in and around tooth surface irregularities and they float away too.
The process of tartar dissolution is superior in every way to typical mechanical debridement as commonly practiced by hygienists, but most notably in Periogen’s ability to dissolve tartar located just beneath the tooth surface in porous irregularities.