Plaque is sticky,composed of bacteria and bacterial by-products. Calculus is calcified tartar — a hard, mineralized deposit formed from plaque and the minerals found in saliva. The presence of calculus and plaque is problematic because it signifies there’s space between the tooth and gum, which can lead to bleeding gums, bad breath, changes in taste, gum recession, and in severe cases, bone loss due to inflammation.

Both cleaning and debridement share the objective of good oral health. However, as Delhi based dentist Dr. Prashant ojha explains, “it’s very important to note that a debridement is not the same as a regular cleaning, but usually a preliminary adjunct treatment when heavy plaque and calculus are present.”Plaque buildup both above and below the gumline indicates that you might benefit from dental debridement before cleaning.Generally speaking, if your gums bleed, it’s indicative of disease,

Dental debridement

1. Removes dense deposits of plaque and calculus from the teeth

2. Removes plaque both above and below the gum line

3. May be necessary if you haven’t visited the dentist for a year or more

4. Is performed to remove build-up hindering a dentists ability to conduct a thorough oral examination

5. Is performed as a precursor to regular cleaning (prophylaxis)

6. Prepares the teeth for a more refined clean

7. May take longer than a regular cleaning

Regular cleaning (prophylaxis)

1. Usually takes place every six months to maintain a healthy mouth

2. Is appropriate when no heavy deposits of plaque or calculus are present

3. Removes plaque, tartar and stains from the teeth

4. Is generally confined to below the gumline

Your periodontist will examine the health of your gums to determine whether a standard cleaning or a deeper, full mouth debridement is more appropriate for you.“It’s the first step in a series of therapy sessions designed to get the gum tissues healthy.”