Many of us visiting for routine dental checkups must have heard our dentist recommending to get our teeth cleaned or get scaling done every six months for a good oral hygiene. But how many of us really go back after six months for the same? I guess No one.
We have answers/excuses to that always. Is that excuse a myth or a fact?
LET US FIRST UNDERSTAND WHAT SCALING OF TEETH IS?
Teeth Scaling is a routine dental procedure with which plaque and tartar deposits that form on teeth are cleaned or scraped away. While plaque is a soft, sticky film that develops on teeth containing millions of bacteria which cause tooth decay and gum diseases, tartar is a hardened form of plaque that develops if the plaque is not removed on time.
If you have healthy gums, tissue will fit tightly around the tooth and keep plaque out. But, if gum disease begins to form, this tissue will loosen. Healthy gums attach to the tooth 1-3 millimeters below the gum line. With gum disease, you’ll begin to develop deeper pockets. These can fill with plaque, worsening your problems and causing symptoms like bad breath or bleeding gums.
If you have pockets of 4 millimeters or more, your dentist will probably recommend dental scaling to remove the plaque beneath the gum line and help treat the gum disease.
COMMON MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT SCALING:
MYTH: Scaling weakens the teeth and makes them Loosen!
FACT: The deposits over period of long time make a hard semi calcified layer between the gums and teeth. Hence forth the gums are detached and recessed from the teeth so when the calculus/tartar/deposits are removed from the gum-line it gives you the feeling of loose teeth, but that is a "bad support" of the teeth that is being removed. In few weeks, the gums get attached back to the teeth and the mouth is healthy, free of deposits and tartar. Hence scaling of teeth just removes the "Bad Support" which ultimately would have left you with no teeth!
MYTH: Scaling makes the teeth sensitive!
FACT: When the tartar is removed by scaling, the teeth get exposed to the oral environment and become moderately sensitive. In most cases, the sensitivity vanishes in a couple of days as and when the gums get attached to the teeth.
MYTH: Scaling causes gaps between the teeth to increase!
FACT: When the gum disease is progressing at a moderate level, the usual gaps between the teeth get filled within and around with tartar. When tartar is removed by scaling, patient feel that the gaps between the teeth have increased. These gaps are transient and should go off as and when gums take their position in few weeks as long as there is no pathological migration of teeth involved.
MYTH: Scaling is painful!
FACT: Contrary to a popular belief, scaling is a virtually painless procedure, with just a feeling of mild scraping and vibrating sensation on the teeth when the scaling is being done. Hence, one should get scaling/cleaning of teeth twice a year. Fact is there are no side effects of getting Scaling done. A six monthly visit to Dentist can help you have all your teeth till you live!
Have a Healthy Smile!
Dr. Deepika Aggarwal
Consultant Dental Surgeon and Oral Implantologist
B.D.S., P.G.C.O.I., M.I.D.A., F.A.G.E.
10 years work-ex