Featured Image Caption: Scaling and Root Planning Advice
Plaque is a sticky and thin film that begins coating the teeth after a person has eaten. It needs to be removed via flossing and brushing. However, if you do not floss and brush regularly, then plaque will harden and become what is known as tartar.
Another word for tartar is dental calculus. When dental calculus spreads to adjacent teeth, it forms a calculus bridge. An untreated calculus bridge can cause bad breath, receding gums, cavities, gum disease, and even eventual tooth loss.
In order to prevent a calculus bridge from forming, you need to brush at least twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, and floss between your teeth using either regular floss or another interdental cleaning tool.
You should also cut back on sugary snacks and drinks, as they accelerate the growth of bacteria in the mouth and will also cause dental erosion due to their high acidic content. You additionally need to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular dental checkups and cleanings.
If despite following these tips, you notice a calculus bridge forming in your mouth, you should contact your dentist immediately. Calculus bridges, abscesses and gum disease are dental emergencies that require quick action to resolve before they spiral out of control. They may even require scaling and root planning to fix.
Why do you need scaling and root planning instead of regular cleaning?
Regular dental cleaning is intended for patients who need to have their teeth cleaned above or at the gumline. Root planing and scaling are designed for patients who have pockets between their teeth and gums that are too pronounced for a conventional cleaning to remove.
If the spaces between your gums and teeth are too deep, then you will not be able to get rid of the plaque that has been stuck there via normal brushing. If you do not get scaling and root planing, you may suffer from bone and tooth loss in the future.
The deep cleaning will not only eliminate the plaque that has accumulated below your gumline but will also get rid of any and all bacteria in your mouth as well. In sum, a scaling and root planning procedure will help salvage your teeth and reduce gum inflammation.
It will help prevent bone loss and gum disease, eliminate calculus bridges, and may also reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia.
What are the benefits of teeth scaling?
Teeth scaling will help reduce the risk of gum disease, or, at the very least, will slow down its progression. Gum disease is a progressive or degenerative disorder, meaning it will only get worse with time unless a dentist intervenes.
Untreated gum disease will cause serious and recurring infections, receding gums, bone loss, tooth loss, bad breath, pain, inflammation, and bleeding. It has also been linked to diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
In addition, teeth scaling can prevent tooth decay and cavities. It will remove plaque and tartar/calculus in ways that regular brushing, flossing, and cleanings cannot. It will also remove any stains on your teeth in order to improve the brightness of your smile.
If you want to enjoy a beautiful smile and gums that are not red, sore, or swollen, then your dentist may perform teeth scaling. Tooth decay that is left untreated can spread to other parts of your mouth and may even form an abscess.
An abscess is a very serious infection that is located under your gums and creates nasty pus. It can spread to other parts of your body, including your lungs and heart, and may even lead to heart attacks and death if not caught in time. Serious cavities can make it impossible to eat, talk, or even breathe without being in excruciating pain.
Teeth scaling will prevent tooth decay from growing into a very serious problem. Furthermore, teeth scaling will remove bacteria that has been trapped in your mouth due to poor brushing and flossing habits. As such, it will get rid of bad breath, which is also known as halitosis.
What are the three stages of gum disease?
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It is caused by plaque accumulation near your gums. The good news is that plaque can be removed via regular flossing and brushing at this stage.
Gum tissue may be irritated at times, thus leading to inflammation and bleeding when you brush and/or floss. Fortunately, gingivitis can be reversed as long as you act swiftly.
Stage 2 is known as periodontitis. During this stage, the supporting fibres and bones that hold teeth in the ideal position will become impacted. Gum-line pockets will begin to form in the gums and will trap plaque and food particles. The only thing that can prevent periodontitis from getting worse is frequent professional dental cleanings.
Stage 3 is known as advanced periodontitis. At this stage, the bones that support your teeth will start to deteriorate. Your bite will be significantly impacted, as your teeth will begin to move around at this point. In some cases, your dentist may be able to save your teeth via complicated dental procedures.
However, if they are unable to salvage your affected teeth due to the extensive damage, then the only option may be extraction. Visit an emergency dental care clinic if you suspect that you may have periodontitis.
When is teeth scaling considered an emergency?
If you have a large concentration of tartar or plaque deposits in your mouth, then you may require 2 to 4 teeth scalings a year. Those who suffer from loose teeth and chronic inflammation or infections may require more frequent scalings. People who smoke may also require additional dental visits.
Teeth scaling can help prevent oral cancer, cavities, calculus bridges, tooth crowding, plaque accumulation, stains, bad breath, tooth and bone loss, and gum disease. The end result is a healthier mouth and gums, fresh breath, and beautiful and straight teeth.
What to Expect After Teeth Scaling
You may feel some sensitivity to sweets and certain hot and cold food and beverages for a few days after your teeth scaling procedure. You may also experience some soreness and discomfort.
If you want to prevent periodontal disease, then you need to brush and floss regularly, use mouthwash, quit smoking, avoid sweet and acidic foods and beverages, and visit your dentist at least once every 6 months for a checkup and deep cleaning.
By Erin Gregory
who is a blogger in Toronto. She is currently working as a Community Manager for several small businesses. She has graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.