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Why Your Dentist May Recommended Teeth Scaling

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If it has been a while since your last dental cleaning, your dentist may recommend teeth scaling. However, there is no need to be nervous, teeth scaling sounds a lot more intense then it really is. It should be referred to as a deep clean, because,essentially, that’s what it is. Teeth scaling goes beyond a typical cleaning by covering the tooth surface as well as addressing plaque that may have built up beneath the gum line. Here are a few reasons why teeth scaling may be recommended.

Its Been a Long Time Since Your Last Cleaning

No matter how careful you are with brushing and flossing, a certain amount of plaque build-up between dental appointments is to be expected. If you are regular with your brushing and flossing and have maintained healthy gums, this build up is probably limited to very small amounts in hard to reach areas, easily addressed in a regular dental cleaning. However, if it has been a long time since your last cleaning, it is possible that plaque has begun to develop under to gum line. Excessive plaque build-up can cause the gum area around the tooth to loosen, creating small pockets that attract food particles and bacteria. These deep pockets can lead to a variety of potentially dangerous heath issues, including infections, periodontal disease and eventually even tooth loss and deterioration of the jawbone.

You Are Showing Signs of Gum Disease

As previously mentioned, poor oral hygiene can lead to some serious consequences, including gum disease. If you are already showing signs of gum disease – swollen or receding gums, bad breath, bleeding gums, loose teeth, or puss between your teeth and gums – your dentist will want to perform teeth scaling and may also suggest root planing, an additional procedure that is often combined with teeth scaling and goes further below the gum line to clean the area around the root of the tooth.

Now that you know the why, you may be curious about the what. How will the procedure be performed and how will it feel? Generally, your dentist will numb the gums before performing teeth scaling or root planing. They will perform the procedure with either handheld tools to manually remove the plaque build up, or they will use ultrasonic instruments that combine vibration to chip away at the plaque and a pressured water stream to rinse it away. Breathe easy; no drills, and there should not be any pain or discomfort, although your gums may be a little tender once the anesthesia wears off.