Scaling & Polishing
Every six months or sooner, the Dentist recommends a routine Scaling and Polish to be done. The reason for this is over time plaque and calcium deposits called tartar, or calculus accumulates at the base of teeth.
By itself calcium is not dangerous but as tartar it is teeming with bacteria and that is dangerous. Given time these bacteria filled deposits damage the gums and in severe cases destroy the supporting bone as well. In fact in as little as 48 hours the bacteria flora in accumulated plaque turns toxic and dangerous which is why one needs to brush at least twice a day.
The early signs of gum disease are bleeding gums and is called Gingivitis. The bacteria in the mouth thrives on food left behind in the mouth can destroy the gums. This bacteria doubles its population every half hour when it gets fed. It particularly likes sugars and carbohydrates which gives it instant energy and eagerly awaits feeding time and is especially appreciative when they are left alone to feed overnight when the host is too lazy to brush.
However once the bacteria breach the gums it can bleed, the bacteria have a constant source of food and thus energy. Not only that bacteria can enter the bloodstream from infected bleeding gums and cause a host of medical problems.
Once the bacteria goes deeper past the gums, it can be classified as Periodontitis. This late stage is particularly hard to eradicate and the infected tooth is usually lost fairly quickly. The trick is not to get to this stage as chances of full recovery is drastically reduced. These infected teeth have deep pocketing along their gum and once the depth reaches 6mm or more the tooth is almost certain to be lost as food debris and bacteria collects and festers deep under the gum
Regular Scaling and Polishing aims to keep this accumulation of bacteria and calculus or tartar at low and safe levels so they do not have the ability to be dangerous to the gums. Usually by six months in a normally maintained mouth the bacteria levels are just reaching dangerous levels and if removed regularly will arrest the potential damage. During these visits the dentist will also be able to check the other teeth for any other problems like decay and even detect early cancerous conditions.