Good oral hygiene is essential for a number of reasons, including your overall general health. Visiting your dentist every six months for routine dental cleanings is one of the ways to ensure you have healthy teeth and gums. However, even with routine professional cleanings, your dentist may recommend that you have a deep cleaning, also known as periodontal scaling and root planing.
What is Deep Cleaning?Deep cleaning teeth are generally done if you are suffering from periodontal disease. This type of cleaning allows your dentist to thoroughly clean the gums and the teeth roots. Scaling and root planning is the most common type of treatment for gum disease; it helps to improve gum health as well as reduce the risk of bone and tooth loss. Gum disease happens when tartar and plaque build-up on the gum line of your teeth, which causes the groove between your teeth and gums to develop pockets at the gum line. These pockets trap bacteria, which may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out if the condition is not treated. Dental deep cleaning removes the tartar and plaque that is beneath the gum line, which ultimately prevents gum disease.
Dental Deep Cleaning: What to Know Before You GoScaling and root planning are actually two different procedures. Scaling means the dentist uses a dental tool to remove the plaque and tartar and planing is a procedure used to smooth out the roots of your teeth, which helps prevent the risk of plaque accumulating on the roots later on. Depending on the extent of gum disease, you may need to go to the dentist for a few deep dental cleanings. In many situations, if the periodontal disease is severe, dentists often recommend that one quarter to one half of your mouth be done during each visit. However, if you have gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of periodontal disease, the procedure may be done in only one visit.
Do I Really Need Deep Teeth Cleaning?If plaque and tartar are left untreated for an extensive amount of time, the bacteria will begin to breed, which can have a significant effect on your gums and teeth. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis and as it progresses and the pockets in your gums develop, it will lead to significant damage to your teeth. Your dentist will recommend deep dental cleaning if you have chronic gum disease in order to avoid more serious consequences, such as tooth loss and gum disease increases the risk of cardiac disease. So, if you have any signs and symptoms of gum disease, including swollen, red or tender gums, chronic bad breath, bleeding gums, teeth that are pulling away from the gums and/or loose teeth, it’s important that you see the dentist as soon as possible to discuss a deep dental cleaning.
Procedure for Deep Teeth CleaningWhen you know what to expect with the procedure, you will be more relaxed. The first question many people ask is does deep teeth cleaning hurt? The procedure may be slightly uncomfortable, depending on how severe the buildup is on your teeth, but in many situations, the dentist will use a numbing agent. There are few different steps involved in a deep cleaning, including:
- Dental examination During this step, your dentist will fully examine your mouth. They will use a dental mirror to look at your teeth and gums for signs of inflamed gums.
- Tartar elimination Your dentist will use a dental mirror and a scaler to remove the plaque and tartar between your teeth and around the gum line. It’s normal to hear some scraping sounds during this process and the amount of time it takes for a particular area depends on the amount of tartar.
- Professional cleaning Once the tartar and plaque has been removed, your dentist will use a high-powered toothbrush and toothpaste to scrub your teeth.
- Flossing Following the brushing of your teeth, your dentist will do professional flossing to thoroughly clean between your teeth and to determine where the gums are bleeding and to remove any plaque that may be remaining.
- Rinse and fluoride treatment The final step is a rinse that contains liquid fluoride, which will help to protect your teeth and prevent cavities.