Scaling is a common routine carried out to help patients with gum disease and excessive plaque build-up. Scaling provides a deeper clean than general cleaning which goes below the surface of the tooth.
Although everyone experiences some sort of plaque build-up, when left for too long the bacteria which lives in the plaque can result in tooth decay and gum disease. In our everyday routines, the saliva, bacteria, and proteins found in your mouth create a thin layer over your teeth which creates the plaque build-up. Where gum disease occurs, the gums begin to detach from the teeth providing space for further plaque build-up to exist. Where the pockets fill with plaque this can lead to problems such as bad breath which most want to avoid.
Where the pockets found in the gums are any larger than 4 millimetres, your dentist will often suggest for scaling to take place.
Scaling which is often referred to as a deep clean involves a handheld instrument called a curette which is used by the dentist to scrape plaque from the tooth. The tool will also be placed under the gum line to access plaque which a toothbrush can’t reach.
Alternatively, an ultrasonic instrument may be preferred which chips away tarter whilst flushing out the pocket.
Typically scaling is followed by a process called root planning which smooths the surface of the root to allow for reattachment of the gums to the teeth. Root scaling requires significant intrusion into the gums, and so here an anaesthetic may be required to reduce pain.
Commonly Asked Questions
Does Scaling Hurt?
Dental scaling can feel uncomfortable or slightly agitating though the option of anaesthetic can numb the gum tissue. The process may require further visits to address different areas of the mouth, generally split into four quadrants. Your mouth may feel a little sore or sensitive after the procedure, though a sensitive toothpaste can help. Rarely some patients will experience pain or swelling for a few days after the scaling, however, this is uncommon.
How to Care for your Gums after Treatment
It’s important to keep your gums clean after the process. Your dentist may prescribe a particular toothpaste or mouthwash which must be used in conjunction with proper brushing and flossing techniques. Where brushing is concerned, our hygienists can offer full information on how to properly floss and clean your mouth at home. Using an antibacterial mouthwash which targets gum health can also aid in prevention.
If you wish to enquire about our scaling services contact the clinic today.