Bacterial plaque, tartar and the need for scaling

  • Useful Info   •  July 30, 2019

Despite good oral hygiene, the bacterial plaque cannot be completely removed through dental brushing performed at home, especially when it accumulates in subgingival areas. This is why at least two visits a year to the dental office are recommended for complete hygiene and professional scaling treatments as well as for the early detection and if neccesary, treatment of possible gingival and periodontal disorders.

What is bacterial plaque? 

The bacterial plaque accumulates food debris that cannot be eliminated or is not eliminated in time through daily brushing from the hard dental surfaces, from the interdental or subgingival spaces but also from other structures from the oral cavity such as dental appliances.

In the first 48 hours, the bacterial plaque, consisting mainly of microorganisms and sugars, is almost colorless and has a soft enough consistency to be mechanically removed through brushing.

The bacterial plaque accumulates continuously and if not removed daily, in reaction with the salts of calcium from saliva is mineralized, turning into tartar, which is impossible to remove only by brushing.

What is tartar? 

Tartar represents the accumulation of mineralized bacterial plaque. Once the mineral sediments deposit, they calcify and colorize, becoming dark-brown. The tartar in its calcified phase can no longer be removed at home only by brushing, but only by dentist, with the help of special scaling tools.

There are a number of factors that favor bacterial plaque and tartar deposits, among which are:

  • insufficient oral hygiene or improperly performed
  • the position or the clenching of teeth or the incorrectly performed work
  • the quantity and quality of saliva that can be influenced by metabolic pathologies such as diabetes, clogging of the salivary glands or different gastrointestinal disorders
  • periodontal diseases respectively the presence of periodontal bags that favor the deposits of tartar in those areas
  • eating habbits, age, drug abuse, tobacco, depression, nervousness

The need for scaling 

Not removed over time, plaque and bacterial plaque deposits affect the tooth, the gum and tooth supporting tissue leading to the following types of conditions:

  • increased dental sensitivity
  • the appearance of decay as a result of the demineralization of the tooth enamel
  • inflammation and bleeding of the gums
  • retraction of the gums and supporting bone tissue
  • teeth mobility
  • periodontal disorders

Tartar affects not only dental health but is a risk factor for the entire organsim. According to recent studies, tartar accumulated in large quantities on the tooth surface affects the masticatory process and implicitly the digestive process, the foods being eaten incompletely chewed. Also, organic substances of bacterial nature present in the composition of tartar were also found in the structure of atherosclerotic plaques formed on the route of blood vessels, which led to the interpretation of tartar as a factor favoring and aggravating the diseases of cardio-vascular nature.

  • Dental tartar removal offers first and foremost safety in terms of maintaining the health of the teeth and gums but also emotional comfort as a result of the oral cavity hygiene.
  • Dental scaling improves the aesthetic appearance of the teeth, after the procedure, teeth becomes whiter and brighter.
  • Scaling allows the discovery of cavities in the early stages, which can thus be treated by minimally invasive interventions.
  • Scaling essentially contributes to the decrease of chances of developing or advancing gingival and periodontal diseases.  
  • Scaling comes with a long-term reinvigorated breathing.

The scaling, the action meant to remove bacterial plaque and the tartar from the tooth surface, can only be performed in the dental office by the dentist. This is why, in addition to correct brushing at least twice a day, the use of dental floss and mouth water, it is recommended at least two visits a year to the dental office for professional prophylactic treatments including scaling, professional brushing and Airflow treatment.

Dental scaling methods 

  • Manual dental scaling

    • This type of descaling is required in the case of the dark brown subgingival tartar, which has a higher consistency and adhesion, being generally harder to displace.
    • In manual scaling, sharp instruments are used and a certain degree of pressure is applied to tooth surface.
  • Ultrasonic dental scaling

    • This type of scaling is more easily tolerated by patients, especially by haemophilic patients, and creates less discomfort in dental structures than manual scaling, being a minimally invasive and rapid process.
    • Ultrasonic scaling is more effective in removing stains such as coffee, nicotine or tea.
    • It is recommended in removal the supragingival tartar and the gingival duct, as well as in case of surgical interventions and very adherent deposits.

Scaling is recommended to be performed regularly, once every six months, or once every four months for patients with dental implants or gingival or periodontal disorders. Age, eating habits, as well as oral hygiene practices can also influence the frequency of scaling prophylactic treatment for one person.

At Diana Smile Dental Clinic you can benefit from a full range of prophylactic services. Opt in for them and always enjoy a healthy and relaxed smile!