Dental scaling: The process that cleans teeth, clears tartar

Teeth are considered to be the primary organ for maintaining your general health. Unhealthy teeth not only damage oral health but ruin systemic health too. The harmful microbes from the mouth pass into the body, leading to throat and gut infections. It is crucial to maintain oral health and hygiene.There are several options that can help you maintain your oral health. Yes, there is brushing and flossing. However, there are other procedures like dental scaling, which is the second most significant routine for sustaining your teeth long-term.

Scroll down to know more about dental scaling.

What is dental scaling?

Dental scaling is the cleaning of teeth through a water-driven rotary hand machine. It cleans the plaque, tartar, and debris deposited on the teeth surface, between the teeth, and under the gums.

dental scaling
Everything you need to know about dental scaling. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Everybody develops plaque to some extent. Your mouth’s bacteria, proteins, and saliva combine to generate a thin film that usually coats your teeth. When you eat, microscopic food particles, acids, and sugars adhere to this film and form plaque, a whitish buildup on the teeth. This plaque contains bacteria that can lead to tooth damage and gum diseases. Plaque can be removed by proper brushing and flossing, avoiding more complicated issues.

With time, this plaque converts into hard, stone-like material called calculus or tartar. This tartar cannot be removed by brushing or flossing and weakens teeth. Calculus is the primary reason for causing gingivitis and periodontitis, which may cause irreversible loosening of teeth if untreated.

How does dental scaling help maintain oral health?

Scaling removes the tartar and stains on visible teeth surfaces and one-third portion hidden by the gums(pockets) at early stages to avoid serious consequences. However, scaling may need an extended cleaning of the roots of teeth called Root Planning.

Scaling is a significant part of dental treatment. Every dental treatment needs hygienic oral conditions to avoid the transfer of infection, so your dentist may recommend scaling before starting any treatment modality, from filling to complex cases like implants.

There are many myths about scaling, like it loosens teeth, creates a gap between them, or causes permanent teeth sensitivity! But the truth is scaling strengthens your teeth and gums while saving them from more complex consequences.

You may feel discomfort for 1-2 days or teeth sensitivity for a week following a dental scaling session. Your dentist might suggest medication or mouthwash to help you recover, decrease discomfort, or avoid infection.

dental scaling
Everything you need to know about dental scaling. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Signs you should go for dental scaling

Scaling is recommended to those who are differently abled, sick, or cannot brush properly, and thus their teeth get more prone to calculus deposition. Scaling should be done every six months to keep the gums from inflaming.

Bleeding of gums while brushing, random pain in the gums, generalised pain in teeth, and bad odour are the signs that one needs scaling.

To assess the extent of your gums’ healing and gauge the size of your pockets, your dentist will arrange a follow-up appointment. Another planned treatment can be carried out after a week if you have another dental problem also.


Good dental hygiene at home is essential to prevent gum disease from getting worse or recurring. Eat a balanced diet, refrain from using tobacco products, brush your teeth twice a day, floss in between your teeth, and schedule frequent dental checkups. Dental scaling can help you fight hidden plaque and keep your mouth clean. Don’t wait to make an appointment for deep cleaning if your dentist says you need one. Your smile will look better, and you’ll love it.

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