Dental Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planning)

Teeth cleaning is part of oral hygiene and involves the removal of dental plaque from teeth with the intention of preventing cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease. A regular cleaning  can help with the maintenance of healthy gums. Healthy gums feature a small, shallow space between the teeth and gums, which is usually between 2 or 3 mm deep.

The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene which encourages plaque formation. Plaque is an invisible, sticky film composed mainly of bacteria and can form on the tooth when starches and sugars in food interact with the bacteria normally found in your mouth. 

Plaque requires daily brushing and flossing for removal because if not removed, the plaque calcifies and becomes tartar. Tartar cannot be removed with daily oral care routines. It will need to be removed with a professional dental cleaning. If tartar is not removed, it can form a shield overtop of your gums and begin to cause inflammation and the gum will begin slowly be pushed lower onto the root surface (recession), which may cause dental sensitivity. The procedure of a dental cleaning involves thoroughly cleaning the spaces of the gums by removing bacteria, plaque and tartar build-up to promote healing and healthy gums. 

Here’s 3 reasons why you should have your teeth cleaned: 

  1. To Prevent and Detect Oral Disease
    • We can help find early signs of problems with your gums or teeth. Early detection is key for cavities, gum disease, which are easily treatable. Untreated these problems can be very expensive and inconvenient resulting in gum surgery, root canals and removal of teeth. 
  2. To Prevent Bad Breath
    • Medical studies indicate that 85% of people with ongoing bad breath (halitosis) are caused by dental problems. Having a good oral hygiene regiment is essential in preventing bad breath. Regular 4-6 month check ups and dental cleanings are the best way to make sure you are keeping good oral hygiene. 
  3. Brighten and Whiten your Smile
    • During your cleaning your dental hygienist will polish your teeth to a beautiful pearly shine. This will help remove most coffee, tobacco and tea stains from your teeth. 

Scaling and root planning is necessary when there is a large amount of tartar and bacteria under the gums, usually found in a deeper space between the teeth and gums (pocket), between 4 to 7 mm deep or deeper.

Pockets can develop when a person has not had their teeth professionally cleaned for a long period of time. These can also develop when the person does not brush and floss regularly. Those with deeper pockets have a condition known as Periodontitis or periodontal disease.