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Dental Scaling

When we visit our dentist for our routine dental checkup, we have often heard the doctor recommend that we get our teeth cleaned or get a scaling done at least once every six months for good oral hygiene. However, many of us don’t actually go back after six months to get a cleaning or scaling done. We always seem to have answers / excuses to not get it done. Often, these excuses are based on myths!

Let us have a look at all the excuses that people come up with and examine if that excuse is a myth or a fact.


Let us first understand what is scaling of teeth.

Teeth Scaling is a routine dental procedure with which plaque and tartar deposits that form on teeth are cleaned or scraped away. Plaque is a soft, sticky film that forms on teeth. It contains millions of bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum diseases, while Tartar is a hardened form of plaque that develops if the plaque is not removed on time.

If you have healthy gums, the tissue will fit tightly around the tooth and keep plaque out, but if gum disease begins to form, this tissue will loosen. Healthy gums attach to the tooth 1-3 millimeters below the gum line. With gum disease, you’ll begin to develop deeper pockets. These can fill with plaque, worsening your problems and causing symptoms like bad breath or bleeding gums.

If you have pockets of 4 millimeters or more, your dentist will probably recommend dental scaling to remove the plaque beneath the gum line and help treat the gum disease.


MYTH: Scaling weakens the teeth and makes them loose!

FACT: Over a long period of time, the deposits form a hard semi-calcified layer between the gums and teeth, which results in the gums getting detached and recessed from the teeth. When the calculus / tartar / deposits are removed from the gum-line, it gives you the feeling of loose teeth, but that is a “bad support” of the teeth that is being removed. In few weeks, the gums get attached back to the teeth and the mouth is healthy, free of deposits and tartar. Hence scaling of teeth just removes the “Bad Support” which would have ultimately left you with no teeth!

MYTH: Scaling makes the teeth sensitive!

FACT: When the tartar is removed by scaling, the teeth get exposed to the oral environment and become moderately sensitive. In most cases, the sensitivity disappears in a couple of days as and when the gums get attached to the teeth.
MYTH: Scaling causes gaps between the teeth to increase!

FACT: When the gum disease is progressing at a moderate level, the usual gaps between the teeth get filled within and around with tartar. When tartar is removed by scaling, the patient feels that the gaps between the teeth have increased. These gaps are transient and should go off as and when gums take their position in few weeks, as long as there is no pathological migration of teeth involved.

MYTH: Scaling is painful!

FACT: Contrary to popular belief, scaling is a virtually painless procedure, with just a feeling of mild scraping and vibrating sensation on the teeth when the procedure is being done.

Hence, one should get scaling/cleaning of teeth done at least twice a year. Fact is there are no side effects of getting Scaling done. Visiting your Dentist once in six months can help you preserve all your teeth till you live!

Have a Healthy Smile!


Article by – Dr.Deepika