Myths And Facts About Professional Tooth Cleaning
On an average every other patient who comes in to see a dentist requires some degree of professional tooth cleaning. But from experience we have seen that most patients baulk at the idea. The reason being all kinds of beliefs right from 'my enamel will wear off to loosening of teeth.'
We have one answer for all the non believers.
"We ensure that we undergo scaling and polishing ourselves twice a year every year. If there were so many side effects of scaling - do you really think we would subject ourselves voluntarily?”
So let’s take a look at the myths and let’s shatter them.
MYTH I: SCALING MAKES TEETH LOOSE
FACT I: Scaling may actually help your teeth be more strongly held by the surrounding gums and bone.
Have you undergone an extraction or watched a tooth being removed? It requires considerable amount of leverage and force to pull out a firm tooth. Even a tooth which is relatively loose requires some degree of pressure. So do you really think that ultrasonic scaling, in which the tip is barely touching your teeth for a few seconds at a time, can cause tooth loosening?
So why do teeth feel a little loose after scaling? When tartar (calculus) accumulates around your teeth over time, it causes gum disease which in turn causes bone loss and tooth weakening. However because the tartar is so tightly stuck around your teeth- they feel firm. When we remove the stuff that’s holding them together - naturally they will be loose. The tartar made them loose and then held them together ironically. So a lot of patients say - at least its holding them together so why not leave it in? The reason is - the longer the tartar is in your mouth - the disease is continuing to progress. The gum bleeding, bad breath continues. Therefore to stop the disease it is essential to remove the cause.
In fact after the gum heals a couple of weeks later - the teeth may actually feel firmer.
MYTH II: SCALING MAKE TEETH SENSITIVE
FACT II: Scaling may actually prevent teeth sensitivity in the long run by preventing gum recession and inflammation.
Imagine you are wearing a jacket/shawl in the winter and suddenly you are asked to remove it. Wouldn't it make you cold for a few minutes at least till you adjust to the temperature? It would, wouldn't it? Now imagine your teeth wearing a jacket of tartar for weeks and months and all of a sudden you remove it. Wouldn't it take your teeth a few days at least to adjust to the new temperatures? It doesn't mean they have become sensitive - they just need time to recover.
Of course scaling done by untrained hands/outdated machinery can cause prolonged sensitivity. So choose your dentist well.
MYTH III: SCALING AND POLISHING IS A COSMETIC PROCEDURE
FACT III: Scaling is necessary for gum health - therefore it is not merely cosmetic but therapeutic
The cosmetic aspect of scaling (the removal of stains to make teeth look whiter) is a pleasant side effect. Actually scaling is important for its therapeutic uses. Scaling is essential for gum health. The removal of local irritants improves gum health; increases tooth support, decreases bad breath and gum bleeding.
MYTH IV: Scaling INCREASES GAPS/SPACES BETWEEN TEETH
FACT IV: By preventing bone loss and gum disease scaling may prevent opening up of gaps (Caused by weakened periodontium leading to pathologic migration)
Like we said before it is not possible to physically move teeth with a scalar. Moreover enamel cannot be cut with this machine either. Therefore obviously scaling cannot cause spacing. Then why do spaces appear post scaling sometime? The gaps exist from much before - however the teeth being covered by yellowish tooth colored tartar - it appears as if there are no spaces. The moment the disease causing tartar is removed - the spaces reappear.
MYTH V: IF THERE IS NO PROBLEM/SYMPTOM ONE DOES NOT REQUIRE SCALING
FACT V: Almost everyone requires scaling - at least once a year
The unfortunate part about gum disease is that it almost never pains. There are very few symptoms (like bleeding gums/pus discharge) and often they are mild enough to be missed completely by the patient. So why wait till the disease is so severe that your teeth begin to shake? Besides what is the harm in going for a regular cleaning once every year - definitely only something better can come out of it.
So now what do you want to believe? Rumors spread by people who know only half the story or Facts backed by scientific evidence??
Value your smile. It is worth more than most other possessions.