Where There Is No Dentist 2012 131
The edge of the gum, near the tooth, folds under to form a pocket. This gum
pocket goes completely around each tooth. The gum pocket can be shallow
or deep. A deep pocket means there has been an infection for a while.
Tartar starts forming deep
inside the gum pocket. If
you remove tartar that you
can see above the gum,
it is helpful, but not good
enough. You must remove
the rest of the tartar, or the
infection will continue. If
part of the tartar stays on
the tooth, the infection will
First, use the pointed-
tip scaler to remove
the tartar that you
Then, go back with your
rounded-tip scaler and
scrape away the
Be careful when you place the rounded end of
the scaler inside the gum pocket.
a) Put the sharp face of the blade
against the tooth. Slide it along the
tooth down into the gum pocket.
b) You can feel the edge as it goes over
the rough tartar. Stop when you feel
the bottom of the gum pocket.