When you take care of your overall health, you often miss out on oral care. Keeping good care of your teeth is very important when it comes to maintaining overall hygiene. If you keep your oral health under good conditions, you can reduce the risks of getting gum diseases and tooth decay.
You experience tooth and gum problems when bacterial colonies form plaques in between your teeth. If you eat food but do not clean your teeth properly after that, the bacteria form a thin film. It is an extremely sticky layer composed of both bacteria and small food particles that you have consumed. This film covers areas in between your teeth as well as portions of your gum, causing periodontitis and gingivitis.
When you fail to remove plaques quickly, they harden to form calculus or tartar that becomes even harder to remove. During such cases, you need to go for dental scaling or otherwise you may even lose your teeth permanently. It leads to a lot of problems when you have tartar in your teeth, such as:
- Bleeding gums.
- Swelling or inflammation of your gums.
- Redness and tenderness.
- Infected teeth, mostly appearing yellow or brownish in color.
- Tooth cavities that may result in forming holes within your teeth and damage its structure permanently.
- Halitosis or bad breath.
- Periodontitis- tartar destroys the bones and ligaments that support your teeth, leading to permanent tooth loss.
- Excessive pain and instability of tooth. You find it really hard to even use your teeth for chewing or crunching.
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What is dental scaling?
Scaling helps you in removing plaques and tartar within your teeth so that you can improve your oral health. When excessive tartar builds up in between your teeth, it harms your gum causing immense pain, bleeding, and inflammation. If you undergo standard tooth cleaning procedures, they simply concentrate on the surface cleaning of your teeth.
On the other hand, dental scaling helps in removing plaques from deep within your tooth. Ask your dentist what you need to do when you have tartar problems. If he recommends you to go for scaling than surface cleaning, be prepared to know how it works. Scaling is a bit painful than normal tooth cleansing processes since it goes deeper into your teeth enamel.
If you want to understand how scaling works in simple words, think about the drilling process. When a carpenter drills into the wall to insert a screw or a nail, it is not something topical. It involves going deep within the bricks of the wall, to clear open a portion for the screw to fit in. This is exactly how scaling operates. The dentist uses a very small drilling instrument to carve out plaques and tartar stuck inside your tooth enamel.
Sometimes you may also see him using a vibrating instrument along with spray machine, ejecting cool water. Not just that, your dentist will use the machine even below your gum line to remove plaques from there. During this time, you will experience a lot of blood coming out, filling up your mouth. Your dentist will give you a mouthwash in a cup. From the cup, you need to occasionally take sips to clean your mouth and empty all blood getting collected within. Do not scare to see so much blood, since it is ‘bad blood’ that actually causes pain, redness, and swelling. It is a good thing if all it comes out that has been accumulating within your gums for so long.
If you have sensitive gums and teeth, your dentist may apply an anesthetic ointment to ease it out for you. After the procedure, you may still experience some extent of sensitivity. For such conditions, you can use a desensitizing toothpaste for a while along with regular flossing and brushing. You will feel freshness and cleanliness in your mouth after scaling.
When do you need scaling?
Call your dentist when you see the following symptoms showing up:
- Sudden sensitivity in your teeth and gums when you drink anything cold or hot.
- Unnecessary gum bleeding while you eat food or beverages. You may also experience bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth.
- Bad breath and swollen gums.
- Your teeth may start drifting apart, increasing the tooth gap.
- Loosening of tissues surrounding your teeth. In such conditions, you often feel that your tooth is going to fall off any time.
You will feel when plaques build up within your teeth. Try feeling your gum and teeth line with your tongue. You will see that gaps between your teeth is filled up by something. That ‘something’ is nothing but either plaques or tartar (if plaques have become hard). Wait no more and immediately visit a dentist.
You have a total of three components here, playing a role in plaque formation- your saliva, proteins from food, and bacteria. These 3 things form a thin film covering your teeth all the time. When you consume food, small particles like sugars or acids stick to this layer and piles up. This layer now becomes plaque. When you do not clean plaques forming in between your tooth, they harden with time to form tartar. In this condition, it becomes harder for you to remove tartar. Bacteria grow within it and gradually cause tooth decay. If this condition prolongs, it will ultimately result in tooth loss.
Tartar does not just affect your teeth, but also your gums. When you get gum diseases, the tissue in and around that area loosens. You will see deep pockets or cavities forming around your teet since your gum line goes down. This is the time when you should call for your dentist, to help you treat with scaling and root planing. Avoid smoking during such times, as it encourages tartar growth. Your dentist will ask you for scaling only if you have any sort of gum disease, like gingivitis or periodontitis. When you combine dental scaling with root planing reaching below the line of your gum, it is called deep cleaning. It helps in better removal of plaques.