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These stains are actually plaque and tartar that have attached themselves extremely firmly to your tooth and require a professional clean up or dental scaling procedure to remove them to get your mouth back in good condition.
If you have healthy gums, the tissue will fit tightly around the tooth and keep plaque out. However, if gum disease begins to form, this tissue will loosen. Healthy gums attach to the tooth just 1 to 3 millimeters below the gumline. With gums that are slightly receded from your teeth (gum recession) or gum disease (swollen gums), you’ll begin to develop deeper pockets. These can fill with plaque, worsening your problems and causing symptoms like bad breath(also swelling leading to swollen gums and bleeding gums) and that’s when we may recommend scaling.
Everyone experiences some form of plaque build-up. The saliva, bacteria, and proteins in your mouth form a thin layer that covers your teeth at almost all times. When you eat, tiny particles, acids, and sugars from the food stick to this film, creating a build-up on the teeth known as plaque. The bacteria that lives in this plaque can cause gum disease (periodontal disease) and tooth decay.
Dental scaling or Dental Clean-up is the most common non-surgical way to treat gum disease, which is also known as periodontitis. This will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and help your gums regain health and save your teeth in the long run.
A potentially harmful bacterial film called plaque is constantly forming on your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky, colourless substance that can eat away at your enamel (the hard-outer covering of your teeth) and cause cavities. If you don't get rid of plaque often enough, it can harden into what’s known as tartar or calculus, which can cause gum disease (swollen gums/ bleeding gums).
You really want to avoid plaque turning into tartar and this is where dental appointments come in. Even the most skilled brusher and flosser can't remove tartar themselves. This is the reason why getting a thorough professional clean up regularly is of the utmost importance.
Our very own gum specialist will diagnose your underlying condition and issues during the initial consultation. Your treatment will usually begin with a general clean up or scaling and polishing procedure.
Dental scaling is a very common treatment for patients with gum disease. Scheduling dental scaling as needed can help you battle unseen plaque and maintain a cleaner mouth. If we indicate that you need a deep cleaning, don't hesitate to schedule this appointment. The result is a fresher smile that you're sure to enjoy.
Please do ensure that you have given us a complete and accurate medical history. We must be informed of certain conditions like High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and if you are on any kind of medication on a daily basis especially blood thinners.
The procedure can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, so precautions may need to be taken to treat gum disease (especially those with swollen gums or bleeding gums) in people who are at increased risk for infections, such as those with heart problems, liver disease or a compromised immune system due to an illness.
A regular clean-up is a painless procedure and usually does not require anaesthesia. However, in some cases of gum recession and sensitivity we would anaesthetise those areas of the mouth to make the procure more comfortable for you.
While sitting in a comfortable reclining chair, we will begin by examining the teeth and gums, assessing where plaque is most prevalent and the gums' health, before starting.
Our dental team and gum specialist use a variety of tools to clean the teeth, which include a small mirror, a variety of scalers (hook-like instruments with a pointed tip), a tooth polisher with an assortment of different sized heads, a small water hose, and a suction hose. Scalers gently work off stubborn, hard bits of tartar in the harder to reach places on the teeth surfaces, such as between teeth, just below the gum line, and some nooks on crowns. If your gums are swollen and tender and if the bleed easily you can expect bleeding during the procedure. This will stop by the end of the procedure. However, you might experience some mild bleeding during the next 24 hours. If this bleeding is excessive and does not stop please do not hesitate to contact us.
We use mild abrasives in conjunction with flavoured polish, which is sweet tasting, but feels like gummy sand. We apply the polish with the polisher and gently rub off what's left of the tartar and literally polish the enamel. After rinsing, the teeth feel silky smooth.
Next is a professional flossing. We floss your entire mouth to ensure that any loosened bits of plaque are not left behind in between the teeth or below the gum line. Sensitive gums may bleed a little. Throughout the standard cleaning session, we will instruct you to rinse away bits of debris, detached tartar and plaque, and the remaining grains of the tooth polish.
Teeth scaling and root planing may take more than one trip to our clinic. At Therapeuo we usually recommend that you return for a follow-up appointment to make sure the procedure worked well and that you haven’t developed any complications.
If your gums are swollen and tender and if the bleed easily you can expect bleeding during the procedure. This will stop by the end of the procedure. However, you might experience some mild bleeding during the next 24 hours. If this bleeding is excessive and does not stop please do not hesitate to contact us. This is especially important.
We also may recommend coming back for another procedure if the gum pockets didn't shrink.
You should resume normal oral care procedures after your teeth scaling and root planing. This includes brushing your teeth at least two times a day and flossing regularly. You should also eat a healthy, balanced diet and visit us for regular cleanings to prevent the condition from returning.
In fact, we usually place all our patients on a periodontal maintenance cleaning schedule, returning for regular cleaning every three to four months or a standard cleaning every six months as per need basis.
Diet/Eating - Chewing hard foods, such as meat or raw vegetables may be uncomfortable; this should last no longer than a few days. A soft diet would be advised until chewing becomes more comfortable.
Discomfort/Pain/Sensitivity - If a local anaesthetic was used, avoid chewing food until feeling returns to avoid injury to the tongue or cheeks. If tooth sensitivity persists, use a desensitizing toothpaste containing potassium nitrite. If the sensitivity is severe and prolonged, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required.
Oral Hygiene - If gum tissues are tender, brush your teeth gently but thoroughly; this may take a little more time than normal. By the third to fourth day, normal oral hygiene techniques can be resumed. Mouth rinsing is recommended with either of the following solutions:
(1) an antimicrobial rinse
(2) a warm saline rinse. Use of these rinses should be limited to one to two weeks.
Professional cleaning not only levels the field, it saves our permanent teeth, our health, and our pocketbook. Consider this as against the cost of stress, money and time it would take to undergo a root canal, or a tooth extraction, or a dental implant!
When we do a regular cleaning, which is called a dental clean-up we are taking the tartar and calculus build up off your tooth. We are working on the part of your tooth that you can see, the part that is above the gum line. But, that's just the tip of the iceberg, your tooth extends below your gum line. The foundation and strength of your tooth is what you can't see. Under the gums is the root of your tooth that is embedded in your jawbone. This is where periodontal disease hides.
Periodontal disease is a bacterial gum infection that destroys the supporting fibres attached to the underlying bone, that hold your teeth in your mouth. The main cause of this disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can turn into a hard substance called calculus in less than two days. Calculus can only be removed during a professional cleaning. If calculus forms below the gum line on the root of the tooth, it makes plaque removal more difficult, leaving you at risk for periodontal disease.
Toxins (poisons) produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums, causing infection. These toxins can also destroy the supporting tissues around the teeth, including the bone. When this happens, gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with even more plaque and more infection. As the disease progresses, these pockets deepen, more gum tissue and bone are destroyed, and the teeth eventually become loose. If periodontal disease is not treated, these teeth may need to be removed.
Gingivitis : The mildest form of the disease, gingivitis causes the gums to become red, swell and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment by our gum specialist also known as a periodontist and good home care.
Mild Periodontitis : Gingivitis, if left untreated, can advance to periodontitis. In the mild stage, periodontal disease begins to destroy the bone and tissue that support the teeth.
Moderate – Advanced Periodontitis : In the mid-stages, periodontal disease can lead to more bone and tissue destruction. The most advanced form of the periodontitis includes extensive bone and tissue loss. Teeth often become loose and may have to be removed. If gum disease is caught early by our gum specialist and it hasn't damaged the structures below the gum line, a professional cleaning also known as scaling or clean up should do. Dental scaling or Dental Clean-up is the most common non-surgical way to treat gum disease, which is also known as periodontitis. This will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and help your gums regain health. If the pockets between your gums and teeth are too deep, however, scaling and root planing may be needed.
Root planing : Root planing is a method of treating severe gum disease. When you have gum disease, inflammation of the tissues will lead to separation of gum from the root surface, which creates a tiny space known as a periodontal pocket. It can be very difficult to keep clean and allows bacteria to accumulate. Root planing is a meticulous cleaning of root surfaces to remove dental plaque and calculus.
People with severe gum disease need to receive treatments of scaling and root planing. Before carrying out the treatment, the dentist will use a periodontal probe and take radiographs to confirm the severity of gum disease. The dentist will also let the involved area be numbed by using anaesthesia to reduce discomfort during treatment. Instruments called curettes or ultrasonic cleaners will be used to remove the plaque and calculus on root surface in the periodontal pocket.
Periodontal disease has many causes including poor oral hygiene, pregnancy, puberty, genetics (Thanks Mom and Dad!) medications, stress, poor eating habits, clenching and grinding, diabetes, chewing tobacco and smoking. Symptoms can be; swollen and red gums, receding gum line that makes your tooth look longer than normal, bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, loose teeth, bleeding gums and tender gums.
Deep cleaning your teeth might sound like something you should do after you've missed a few visits to the dentist or eaten a particularly sticky, messy meal. A deep cleaning is actually a specific procedure performed by us to treat gum and periodontal disease.
Our specialist will take some measurements which are called periodontal charting or pocket measurements.
A totally healthy reading would be in the 0-1 range, 2-3 mm is stage 1 which is called gingivitis. Pocket depths of 4-5mm is stage 2 periodontitis which starts to include gum recession. When we see pocket depths of 4mm or higher we recommend a periodontal deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. When there are reading s of 6-10mm this is advanced periodontal disease and now you have bone loss too!
Your gums will be anaesthetised to ensure that you undergo this procedure absolutely painlessly! We will use a scaling instrument to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the roots of your teeth. A scaling and root planing procedure will require a minimum of two visits.
A follow-up visit may be necessary to confirm that your gums and teeth are getting healthier and there is no pocket depth. We usually recommend coming back for another procedure if the pockets don't shrink.
In fact, you'll likely be placed on a periodontal maintenance cleaning schedule, returning for regular clean-ups every three to four months versus the standard clean-ups every six months .
The purpose is to remove the dental plaque and calculus on the root surface inside periodontal pocket in order to get rid of the bacteria that cause gum disease. It helps to reduce inflammation and allows the gum diseases to be recovered. If needed, our gum specialist may perform periodontal surgery that flips the gum, exposing the root surface. The gum specialist can then clean the root surface with direct vision.
Teeth scaling and root planing do tend to make the gums swollen and tender. Regular scaling procedure avoids future build-up of bacteria filled plaque under the gum line, which helps in averting dental complications. Side effect can also raise teeth's sensitivity to cold and hot food. Inadequate scaling exposes roots after the gums begin to shrink, resulting in bleeding of the gums.
Our Gum specialist will schedule another visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have beccome deeper, more treatment may be needed.
Periodontal disease is not just about your oral health, but your overall health as well. The bacteria in your mouth are passed on through your body constantly all day. There is a direct connection between periodontal disease and your systemic health. Periodontal disease increases risk of heart attack by 25%, strokes by a factor of 10 and makes it harder to control diabetes.