Deep Cleaning Teeth

Healthy teeth and gums contribute to a person’s overall look, self-confidence, and general well-being. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can cause gums to pull away from the teeth, leading to other issues such as periodontal pockets, tooth decay, bad breath, and even tooth loss. It can negatively affect your oral and general health and leave you with an unattractive smile. Deep cleaning of teeth helps restore the health of your gums and prevent the progression of gum disease.

What is Deep Cleaning of Teeth?

Deep cleaning of teeth, also known as periodontal cleaning and scaling and root planing, is a non-surgical procedure that involves the removal of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from above and below the gum line, as well as smoothing out any rough spots on the roots of teeth.

It is used to treat periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease characterized by the destruction of the tissues and jawbone that hold teeth in place. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. Several studies have linked periodontitis to systemic health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Deep cleaning of teeth is performed by a dentist or periodontist, a dental specialist who is focused on the treatment of the gums and tooth-supporting structures. It may or may not be done under local anesthesia, depending on the extent of the disease and the patient’s preferences.

The Difference Between Routine and Deep Teeth Cleaning

Routine teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, is a preventive measure recommended twice yearly. During this procedure, the dentist or hygienist removes plaque and tartar from above the gumline. The goal of regular teeth cleaning is to help prevent dental problems such as cavities and gingivitis, which are caused by built-up plaque and tartar.

Deep teeth cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a more in-depth teeth cleaning procedure performed to treat periodontitis, where regular cleaning is not enough to restore the health of your gums. During this procedure, the dentist or periodontist removes plaque and tartar from above or below the gum line.

The deep cleaning process also helps smooth out rough spots on the roots of your teeth, making it harder for plaque to accumulate there in the future. The goal of this procedure is to stop the progression of periodontitis.

When Is Deep Cleaning of Teeth Recommended?

Deep teeth cleaning is recommended for patients with periodontitis. Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that accumulates on teeth surfaces. Bacteria in plaque produce acids that irritate the gums, leading to gingivitis.

Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease characterized by red, swollen, tender gums that easily bleed when flossing or brushing. It can be reversed with professional teeth cleaning (routine cleaning and improving oral hygiene habits.

However, if gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. When periodontitis occurs, the gums pull away from the teeth, creating spaces between teeth and gums, known as periodontal pockets.

These pockets are difficult to clean and can quickly fill up with bacteria and food particles, leading to further damage. Deep teeth cleaning is the only way to remove this harmful bacteria and stop the progression of gum disease.

You can read more about periodontitis stages.

Risk Factors for Periodontitis

Some common risk factors can increase your chances of developing periodontitis, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking and tobacco use
  • Certain types of medications that reduce saliva flow (xerostomia)
  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause can cause an increase in gum inflammation and lead to periodontitis.
  • Some medical conditions, such as diabetes and AIDS.
  • Genetics; some people are genetically predisposed to a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.

How is Deep Cleaning of Teeth Done?

Deep teeth cleaning is a two-step process that includes scaling and root planing. Scaling involves the removal of plaque, tartar (hardened plaque) from above and below the gum line.

Root planing is a process of smoothing out rough spots on the root surfaces, making it more difficult for bacteria and plaque to adhere. Your periodontist may also prescribe antibiotics or an antimicrobial rinse to help control the infection and to promote healing.

In severe cases, your periodontist may recommend an osseous surgery (pocket reduction surgery) to perform a more effective scaling and root planing, and reduce the pockets around teeth. Also, soft-tissue grafting and bone grafting may be recommended to replace lost bone and gum tissues. You can read more about periodontitis bone graft.

Scaling and root planing may need to be done in multiple visits. This can help reduce discomfort and allow for proper healing between each appointment.

Deep Teeth Cleaning (Before & After)
The periodontist removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line and smoothes out rough spots on the root surfaces.

What to Expect After The Procedure?

After deep teeth cleaning, it is normal to experience some discomfort and sensitivity for a few days. Your periodontist may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication for relief.

Remember to gently brush and floss your teeth since vigorous brushing can irritate the gums. Also, use an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce bacteria in the mouth and promote healing.

Your periodontist will schedule a follow-up appointment to evaluate the progress of the healing process and determine if any additional treatments are necessary.

Is a Deep Teeth Cleaning Necessary?

Deep teeth cleaning is necessary to remove tartar and plaque deposits that have built up below the gum line. This procedure can reduce inflammation in the gums and stop further damage from occurring.

Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. Also, periodontitis has been linked to other health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Therefore, it is important to have regular dental exams and cleanings to prevent periodontal disease from progressing.

Conclusion

Deep cleaning of teeth, also known as scaling and root planing, is a dental procedure used to treat periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. This procedure is necessary to remove plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line and reduce inflammation. It also helps stop the progression of gum disease.

The procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from below the gum line, as well as smoothing the roots of teeth to help prevent bacteria buildup.

After deep cleaning, patients need to maintain good oral hygiene habits by brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleaning to prevent gum disease from returning.

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