The length of time a patient experiences discomfort after scaling depends on the following factors:
- Your level of gum recession
- Types of food are in your diet
- Your hygienist’s hand skills
- Scaling tool used: hand scaling vs. cavitron vs. piezo vs. airflow.
The root surface is more sensitive than enamel; the more exposed the root surface, the more sensitivity and pain you will experience. Avoid acidic food groups, such as wine, limes, lemons, and citrus. Any food with a pH of less than 6.5 can cause sensitivity and pain, however, the lower the pH, the worse it will be. Some hygienists may be more heavy-handed than others. Airflow therapy by Hu-Friedy can soften the hard calculus, making it easier to remove, therefore less trauma to the root surface and less pain.