Scaling and polishing are a dental procedure which involves cleaning of accessible and inaccessible tooth surfaces from the attached Plaque and calculus, which cannot be removed easily by brushing.

When does the need for scaling arise?

Patients often complain of bleeding gums, hard yellowish deposits, and a foul odor emanating from the mouth as the principal cause of concern. This is often accompanied by sensitivity, which is the second complaint of the patient. This can be cured with scaling, and root planning procedures commonly referred to as deep cleaning.

What is the cause of gum bleeding and foul odor?

Daily intake of foodstuffs usually leads to the formation of a thin layer of the white lightly adhering layer on the surface of the tooth. This white layer is called Material Alba, which can be easily removed with regular tooth brushing. It usually forms every 2 hrs after tooth brushing. If left unremoved for some time, it becomes more attached to the tooth surface and is called Plaque.

Plaque usually contains food debris and microorganisms, which forms a slimy layer on the tooth surface. The Gums are typically attached to the tooth surface 1 to 3 mm below the gum line. Often plaque accumulation takes place above and below the gum line.

Plaque when left unremoved can lead to the calcification of Plaque, which is called as Calculus. The solidification of calculus continues for some time until a new layer of Plaque is deposited over the previously formed layer, and solidification process begins all over again. This process continues till a thick layer of calculus is created, which cannot be sustained and chips off from the surface. The presence of bacteria debris and the putrefaction of food debris lead to foul smell in mouth.

What is calculus, and how can it be removed?

Calculus is difficult to be removed by tooth brushing and often leads to foul odor, bleeding gums, and sensitivity of teeth. The presence of calculus below the gum line often leads to ulceration of the gums leading to bleeding gums which imparts a brown color to the sub-gingival calculus. The calculus present above the gum line, namely supra-gingival calculus, is yellowish. Calculus deposition is accompanied by gum recession, which in turn leads to bone loss and future mobility of the teeth.

Removal of calculus and proper teeth brushing supplemented using mouthwashes together can prevent the condition to progress further to the point of no return wherein the tooth loss takes mouth to ensure removal of calculus if deposition takes place.

Does scaling leads to tooth loosening?

Formation of calculus around the tooth structure causes the recession of gums. Depending upon the amount of the calculus deposition and subsequent gum recession, there is a loss of alveolar bone. This loss of alveolar bone i.e., the bone surrounding and supporting the tooth, leads to tooth mobility. Scaling and polishing never cause loosening of teeth until an inexperienced dentist does them. Scaling instead helps in removing the calculus, thus creating a healthy interface between the gum and the tooth. This often leads to normalization of the gum bleeding and the cessation of the foul odor from the mouth.

Does dental scaling and polishing procedures hurt?

Dental scaling and polishing when performed by an experienced dentist will only cause mild discomfort. This can cause a feeling of tenderness after a scaling procedure. Sensitivity usually fades away within 1-2 days by adequate use of mouthwash as prescribed by the dentist.

Does scaling and polishing damage teeth?

The most effective way to clean the teeth is by performing regular brushing and flossing. Earlier scaling was done using manual instruments which used to damage the tooth enamel during removal of the calculus from the teeth. With the advent of ultrasonic scaling techniques, damage to tooth enamel can be controlled when performed by an experienced dentist or a dental hygienist.

How often should you get your teeth scaling done?

After the scaling and root planning the progress should be monitored periodically to access the improvement in the condition with time. This should be followed by regular six monthly or yearly check-up of the patient.

We as a dental clinic in Dwarka provide for Ultrasonic Scaling and polishing together with stain removal making sure that you have a brighter smile and improved confidence for conversation without the fear of foul odor emanating from the mouth.

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