Teeth Cleanings\Scaling Dental cleaning\scaling is when the dental hygienist or dentist uses specialized instruments (hand and /or ultrasonic) to remove plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar\calculus (grey, yellow, brown, black) hard deposits from your teeth without harming them. A few minutes after brushing a thin layer of saliva, proteins, and bacteria (called pellicle) is formed on the teeth which acts as a base for bacterial attachment and growth. Eventually with the accumulation of various species of bacteria and sugars from the foods we eat we get a white\yellowish substance called plaque along our gums and teeth. If the plaque is not removed it will attract minerals from the saliva and harden turning into calculus/tartar. If calculus/tartar is left on the teeth it will provide a situation for bacteria to thrive next to the gums which is detrimental for the health of the gums and can lead to gum disease(gingivitis) which leads to periodontal disease which leads to tooth loss. The purpose of the cleaning is to leave the teeth clean and smooth so bacteria is unable to stick to them, reverse gum disease and prevent the progression to periodontal disease. Polishing/Prophy Polishing is done after scaling to remove any leftover plaque from the teeth and gums and to remove extrinsic stain. It is done using a slow speed hand-piece with a soft rubber cup at the end and a special gritty toothpaste-like material. Fluoride Fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth from the acids from bacteria in dental tartar and plaque that can weakened them, it also possesses antibacterial qualities.
Scaling and root planing is a teeth cleaning above and below the gum-line all the way down to the bottom of the pockets of the teeth. The scaling part is when your dentist or hygienist removes all the plaque and tartar from your teeth and the root planing part is the smoothing out of your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. For some, this deep cleaning, may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.
It is normal to have tooth sensitivity for up to a week as the gums are healing around the teeth after a deep dental cleaning. Your gums also may also be swollen, feel tender and bleed.
Your dentist periodontist will also schedule a follow up visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have gotten deeper, more treatment may be needed.
Good dental care at home is essential to help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft brush, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, avoid using tobacco and see your dentist regularly.
Dr. Elizabeth Dimovski & Associates – We Protect Your Smile!
Oral cancer refers to all cancers of the oral cavity, which includes the following:
lining inside the lips and cheeks (labial mucosa and buccal mucosa)
floor of the mouth
roof of the mouth (palate)
the area behind the wisdom teeth
Most oral cancers are located on the sides of the tongue, floor of the mouth and lips.
Oral cancer starts in the cells of the mouth. Normally these cells are quite resistant to damage, but repeated injury from smoking, alcohol or even friction may cause sores or painful areas where cancer can start.
Oral cancer symptoms include:
a sore on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal
a lump on the lip or in the mouth or throat
a white or red patch on the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth
unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth
a sore throat that does not go away, or a feeling that something is caught in the throat
difficulty or pain with chewing or swallowing
swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
a change in the voice and/or pain in the ear
Your Dental Exam
Your dentist does more than protect and care for your teeth, gums and smile — your dentist can also help keep you healthy.As oral health experts, dentists are in a unique position to help in the early detection of many medical conditions, including cancer.Dentists are trained in medicine so they recognize the relationships between oral and overall health.
Most people see their dentist regularly, so your dentist is often the first health-care professional to have an opportunity to detect the many health conditions that affect your mouth. Many patients are not aware of the extent that a dental exam can play in disease prevention.Through the dental exam, your dentist can see if there are any abnormalities or changes in your mouth that might be indications of health problems, such as oral cancer or diabetes. At each visit, your dentist will conduct a medical history review and ask you about your current health.It’s important to answer these questions carefully. What you say can help your dentist alert you to potential health concerns that may require further investigation, diagnosis or treatment by a physician.
Without an examination by a dentist, most early signs of oral cancer are difficult to detect. If you notice a mouth sore or anything out of the ordinary that does not go away or heal after a couple of weeks, discuss it with your dentist.
Smoking and chewing tobacco — particularly if combined with heavy alcohol consumption
Heavy alcohol consumption— particularly if combined with smoking
Excessive sun exposure— particularly to the lip
Age— people over the age of 40 have a higher risk of developing oral cancer
Gender— men are more susceptible than women to developing oral cancer. In the past, men had a 6:1 ratio of incidence of oral cancer compared to women. However; this ratio is narrowing and is now closer to a 2:1 ratio
HPV— more research is emerging that connects human papillomavirus infection — especially HPV-16 — with oral cancers
A diet low in fruits and vegetables— fruit and vegetables have a protective factor that is believed to reduce the risk for oral cancers
See a dental professional for a regular dental exam
Quitting (or reducing) your tobacco and alcohol use lowers your risk of developing oral cancer
When you are outside and exposed to the sun, use lip balm with UV protection and wear a hat
Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
Brush and floss your teeth daily
The mouth has long been recognized as a mirror reflecting the health of the body. With regular visits to your dentist and good oral health routines, you will have lots to smile about.
Regular check-ups are important for cleaning, the detection of cavities and periodontal examination. Plaque and tartar can build up in areas that are not easily reached through home maintenance. These can be removed during a dental cleaning to prevent cavities and gum disease.
While, for some patients, semi-annual visits are sufficient for cleaning and detection of cavities, patients’ needs do vary and patients should discuss the frequency of visits with their dentist.
Patients should also contact their dentist immediately, if their gums bleed, teeth become hypersensitive to temperature or pressure, or in the event of tooth pain or abscess.
For more information contact one of our dental professionals 905-458-6620.