Tooth Scaling Is Important For Oral Health

Scaling is a dental procedure that removes plaque, bacteria, stains, and tartar from your teeth. This is important for maintaining good oral health.


Plaque is a sticky film that forms on your teeth and gums when you are not brushing or flossing regularly. It converts to hard, stone-like material called calculus or tartar if not removed. This causes gum disease and weakens your teeth.

Plaque Buildup

Plaque is a film of bacteria and other substances that builds up on your teeth and gums, especially if you don’t brush properly. It can cause gum disease, tooth decay and other dental problems if left untreated.

This buildup can be difficult to remove with daily brushing and flossing. Eventually, this plaque hardens into tartar or calculus. This tartar cannot be removed with regular brushing and can only be removed by a dentist using specialized tools.

If the buildup of plaque is not eliminated, it can lead to inflammation of the gum tissues called gingivitis or periodontitis. Gingivitis can be mild or severe depending on the severity of the condition, and periodontitis is more advanced and can lead to bone loss and even tooth loss.

You can avoid plaque by eating a healthy diet, staying away from tobacco products and keeping up with your regular dental visits. Your dentist can help you prevent plaque buildup and gum disease with routine scaling and cleaning, which includes a deep cleaning of your teeth called root planing.

During a scale and root planing treatment, your dentist or dental hygienist will numb your teeth and gums so that you don’t feel any pain as they remove hardened plaque buildup (tartar) from your teeth both above and below the gum line. They will also remove the plaque and bacterial deposits from the areas where your teeth and gums meet, including between your teeth and the root of each tooth.

Scaling and root planing procedures are typically performed by your dentist or dental hygienist in their office, and more than one appointment may be required. You’ll likely need a local anesthetic to help you remain comfortable during the procedure and will probably experience light bleeding and swelling, as well as minor discomfort or soreness in your gum tissue.

It’s important to be sure your dentist is aware of your entire health history before performing a procedure like this. In particular, people with a history of heart disease or liver problems may need additional precautions to ensure the procedure doesn’t harm their body’s natural defenses against infection.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is one of the most common oral health conditions in the country. In fact, nearly half of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease.

The good news is that it can be treated and prevented. You can do this by adopting a daily routine of brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. You should also manage health conditions that can affect your dental health and quit or cut back on tobacco use.

Most patients who have early stage gum disease can have their problems resolved with a professional dental cleaning. However, if the gums have been damaged by gum disease or have started to pull away from the teeth (forming pockets) and bacteria are accumulating beneath them, we incorporate scaling and root planing into our treatment plans.

Scaling is a non-surgical procedure that removes plaque and tartar, along with the infected gum tissue, from around and under the teeth. It is performed with a hand-held tool, ultrasonic devices or a laser.

After the scaling procedure, your dentist or periodontist might apply an antibiotic to help your gums heal or insert a mouth rinse that contains a pain-relieving drug. The medications can give you relief for a few days and decrease tooth sensitivity for a week or more.

If you have advanced gum disease, your dentist may recommend surgery to remove the infected and damaged areas. The goal of this procedure is to remove the plaque and bacteria that has caused inflammation, heal the infected gum tissue and reduce the depths of your periodontal pockets.

When you return for a follow-up appointment, the dentist or periodontist will check on the results of your treatment. The results usually show that inflamed gum tissue is once again firm and pink, the bleeding has stopped and the pockets have been reduced in depth.

The goal of this nonsurgical treatment is to treat periodontitis optimally, causing the disease to go into remission. Depending on the severity of your condition, the total number of appointments required for the scaling and root planing process may vary. Typically, your dentist and periodontist will divide the work into segments and treat each area in separate visits.

Tooth Sensitivity

Many people suffer from sensitive teeth, which cause pain when exposed to hot and cold temperatures. It can be a frustrating condition, especially when the pain doesn’t go away with over-the-counter medication.

Sensitivity occurs when the enamel on your tooth is worn down, exposing the underlying dentin. This can be due to aging, brushing too aggressively, smoking, or gum disease.

Usually, the discomfort is temporary and will fade within one or two days after your dental cleaning. However, it can be long-lasting if you have gingivitis or gum disease.

Some people also experience sensitivity after having tooth bleaching or other treatments, including root canal therapy. Some toothpastes are formulated specifically for people with sensitive teeth.

If you’re suffering from sensitivity, talk to your dentist about what causes it and how you can treat it. They may suggest a fluoride mouth rinse or desensitizing agent, which can help ease the pain.

In addition, a dental professional can look for a more serious issue that could be causing the sensitivity. Examples of this include gum disease, tooth decay, and bruxism (teeth grinding).

To prevent sensitive teeth, try to brush after every meal. This will help block open tubules that allow bacteria, food particles, and other substances to reach your teeth.

Avoid acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, vinegar, colas, sodas, and tea. These can eat away at your tooth enamel and cause you to experience pain or sensitivity when you eat or drink them.

Brushing too hard or using too much mouthwash can also contribute to tooth sensitivity. It is important to use soft toothbrush bristles, and not to brush too quickly or with a lot of force.

Using a toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne, will also help to reduce the pain caused by sensitivity. It can also help to use a non-acid mouthwash, such as Listerine, which will not only fight plaque, but also help to strengthen your teeth and protect against future sensitivity.

If you’re experiencing chronic sensitivity, it’s time to seek treatment from your Princeton dentist. It can be a painful experience, but it is worth the effort to make sure your teeth remain healthy and comfortable.


During tooth scaling, your dentist removes plaque buildup and tartar that has built up on the teeth both above and below the gum line. During this procedure, your oral health care provider uses a dental scaler and curette or ultrasonic instruments to get rid of the plaque.

The dentist uses the scaler and curette to scrape off the plaque in the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, which may include pockets and grooves on your teeth. Your dentist also numbs your teeth and gums with a local anesthetic so you are comfortable during the process.

After the cleaning, you may experience some pain or sensitivity in your teeth for a day or two. You may also notice swelling and tenderness in your gums, which is normal. If your pain worsens or persists beyond a week, call your oral health care provider.

Your tooth scaling may be more painful if you have inflamed gums or deep pockets that are infected with bacteria. These conditions can lead to gum disease, which causes bleeding and red gums. Gum disease can also cause the bone to recede and teeth to become loose or even fall out.

You may be able to find relief with anti-inflammatory medications or other medications that help with pain. These can be taken orally or applied to the affected area.

If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist may recommend a toothpaste or a mouth rinse that is designed to alleviate the pain caused by tooth scaling. You may also want to avoid eating hot or cold foods or drinks, as these can make the sensitivity worse.

It is important to keep up with regular dental visits. This is the best way to prevent gum disease. If you have a history of gum disease, it is also recommended to undergo regular scaling and root planing to keep it from progressing into periodontitis or worse.

Tooth scaling and root planing are a common treatment for gum disease, which can be very painful and lead to the loss of your teeth, gums and bone if it is left untreated. This is why it is so important to schedule appointments for tooth scaling and root planing.