Dental cleanings are an important aspect of keeping your mouth healthy, but did you know there are several levels of cleaning? A regular dental cleaning by a hygienist isn’t always sufficient. If bacteria have infiltrated your gums below the gum line, you’ll require a deep dental cleaning to get your gums back to health.
What’s the difference between a normal dental cleaning and a deep cleaning?
The teeth at and above the gum line are the focus of routine dental cleanings. Most patients are advised to get these non-invasive cleanings every six months, and they are essential for optimum dental health. Scaling and root planning, also known as dental deep cleaning, uses specialized procedures to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from below the gum line all the way down to the roots of your teeth. Gum disease does not progress and tooth loss is prevented. A routine cleaning’s overall purpose is preventative maintenance, while a deep teeth cleaning’s goal is to halt the advancement of gum disease.
How can I tell whether I need a deep cleaning of my teeth?
For certain patients, deep cleaning is not required. Deep cleaning may be necessary for people with gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) or a more significant case of gum disease to avoid tooth loss and prevent additional damage.
Gum disease doesn’t often cause discomfort or manifest itself in obvious ways, which makes determining when you need a deep cleaning tricky. There are, however, several red flags to be aware of:
- A foul taste or odor that persists
- Teeth that are separating or are loose
- Easily bleed able gums
- Swollen, red, or sore gums are a sign that something is wrong.
- Gums that have started to pull away from your teeth.
A probe can be used by your dentist to measure any pockets that have formed in your gums during your regular check-up to diagnose the problem. They may also take x-rays to see if there has been any bone loss. If the pockets are deeper than what a routine cleaning and excellent at-home care can handle, you’ll require deep cleaning to eliminate the infection and promote healing. It’s possible that you’ll only need scaling and planning in a few places, or that the issue may be ubiquitous.
What does it involve to do a deep clean?
Scaling entails manually scraping plaque from your teeth above and below the gum line using a hand-held dental scaler by your periodontist. They could also use a water spray and an ultrasonic gadget with a vibrating metal tip to remove tartar. Root planning is a rubbing motion used to smooth rough places on the roots of your teeth so bacteria can’t cling to them in the future. To destroy hard-to-reach germs, an antibiotic gel is sometimes put to the teeth during the cleaning; other times, oral medicines or a specific antibiotic mouth rinse may be recommended. Unlike normal dental cleanings, this treatment involves two visits, allowing us to treat half of your mouth at each appointment.
Is it harmful to do a deep clean?
Because scaling and planning can be painful, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb your gums while the procedure is performed. Your gums will most likely be sensitive after the surgery and may bleed a little when you clean your teeth for the first few days. During the first few days following treatment, your teeth may be sensitive to hot or cold. It may take a few weeks for all sensitivity to go in some cases. A mouth rinse or over-the-counter pain reliever may be recommended by your dentist, as well as desensitizing toothpaste.
After the deep clean, what happens?
Following the deep cleaning, you will receive home maintenance recommendations tailored to your specific needs. A follow-up appointment will most likely be made in 4-6 weeks to confirm that you are recovering properly. For a limited time, we may recommend more frequent regular cleanings. This is to keep the infection from spreading and to help the body recuperate. Your pocketing will be measured again to make sure your gums are getting better. The majority of patients respond favorably to deep cleaning and show rapid improvements in their gum health with proper aftercare. Your gums will be restored as the pockets shrink over time.
When Should I Have My Teeth Deep Cleaned?
According to the American Dental Association, a dental checkup and cleaning should be done every six months. A professional deep dental clean is essential for preventing significant dental concerns like gum disease and tooth decay, which is why it’s done twice a year.
What Are the Consequences of Teeth Deep Cleaning?
Deep teeth cleaning is a low-risk technique when done by a skilled general dentist or dental hygienist. However, due of the process of cleaning, gum scraping, and scraping tartar off the teeth, there is a chance that fillings will loosen or pop out (though your dentist will most likely be able to replace this later).
If a small bit of tartar becomes stuck between the tooth and the gums, you could get an abscess. Following the operation, you may experience increased sensitivity in your teeth and gums, but this usually subsides within two weeks with proper oral hygiene and care.
After a Deep Teeth Cleaning, Here’s How to Care for Your Teeth
You should be especially gentle and careful with your teeth and gums after a deep teeth cleaning, keeping them as clean as possible, and taking any medications suggested by your dentist. If the deep teeth cleaning or gum scaling and root planning fails to alter the course of your gingivitis and you develop periodontitis, you may require more severe treatment or surgery.
Maintaining proper dental care, such as brushing and flossing on a daily basis and going for routine teeth cleanings every six months, can assist to speed up the healing process and reduce the need for future thorough tooth cleanings and other operations.
Of course, if you have any questions, see our dentist in Houston, and be sure you keep any follow-up appointments and routine cleanings.