If you have excessive plaque buildup and gum disease, your dentist in Candler, NC may recommend a routine procedure called dental scaling. This treatment goes much deeper than a standard cleaning that you get with your regular checkup because it addresses the areas below your gum line.
Most people experience a certain degree of plaque buildup. Plaque is formed when food particles, sugars, and acids from the food you eat stick to the thin layer of saliva, proteins, and bacteria that cover your teeth. Unfortunately, the same type of bacteria that feeds on this plaque can potentially cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Thankfully, the plaque can be removed with regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings. If your gums are healthy, plaque is kept out because of the tissue that fits tightly around each tooth. However, if you suffer from gum disease, the tissue becomes loose, and deeper gum pockets will develop.
These pockets can be filled with plaque and cause your breath to become smelly. Gum pockets that go as deep as four millimeters or more require dental scaling to get rid of the plaque underneath the gum line.
Your dentist carefully removes plaque bacteria from the surface of your tooth just below your gum line through the process of dental scaling. A thin, handheld metal instrument called a dental scaler is used to scrape plaque from each tooth. The dentist inserts the scaler beneath your gum line to remove the plaque that your regular toothbrush isn’t able to reach.
An ultrasonic instrument that features a vibrating metal tip and a cool water spray may also be used to scale your teeth. The tip works to chip tartar away while the water spray flushes out the gum pockets.
In most cases, dentists perform a procedure called root planing immediately after dental scaling is completed. Root planing addresses the surface of each tooth’s root in the same manner as scaling. Moreover, root planing works to smoothen the root’s surface to allow the gums to reattach properly.
If you have sensitive gums, you may find dental scaling uncomfortable without a local anesthetic to desensitize the gum tissue. If you’re concerned about pain and discomfort during the process, it’s best to speak with your dentist about options for numbing the area.
It is possible for dental scaling to require several appointments. Your dentist may decide to divide your mouth into four quadrants or into two halves depending on the severity.
After your dental scaling and root planing treatment, your mouth may feel a little sensitive and sore. Additionally, it’s possible for you to experience bleeding or swelling for a couple of days following the procedure.
Your dentist may give you a prescription mouthwash to use right after the procedure so you can keep your gums clean. Proper brushing and flossing procedures will also be required to prevent plaque buildup.
At Cataloochee Dental Group, we take great pride in helping our patients maintain optimal oral health. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.