Deep Cleaning Your Teeth: When to Do It

deep cleaning teeth

Deep cleaning your teeth might sound like something a dental professional recommend if you’ve not been brushing your teeth well enough or if you’ve missed more than a few dental visits. But in fact, deep cleaning is a dental procedure that treats gum and periodontal disease. According to a study by the Journal of the American Dental Association, deep cleaning is especially beneficial to people with chronic periodontitis. Learn when deep cleaning is right for you and how the process works.

When Is Deep Cleaning Necessary?

The American Academy of Periodontology suggests that the bones and gum tissue surrounding your teeth should fit snugly around them. When you have

, these very bones and gum tissue get destroyed, resulting in pockets forming around your teeth.

Over time, these pockets increasingly get deeper, making room for bacteria to live, which leads to even more bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, dental professionals might recommend that you need to get those teeth extracted.

At your evaluation, your dentist will measure the depth of these pockets. If the pockets are too deep, you won’t be able to treat your teeth with at-home oral care only. You will need a deep dental cleaning.

How Does Deep Cleaning Work?

Deep cleaning of the teeth comprises two parts – scaling and root planing.

Scaling. This part of the procedure is where a dental professional removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) collected below the gumline, cleaning all the way down to the bottom of the pocket.

Planing. The next step of deep cleaning consists of your dentist or dental hygienist smoothening out your teeth roots so the gums can reattach to your teeth.

It may take more than a single visit for your deep cleaning procedure to be complete.

 What Happens During A Deep Teeth Cleaning?

Regular at-home dental care is a great way to perform good oral hygiene and dental maintenance. This, combined with regular professional dental care, is the best approach to ensuring strong teeth and good gum health. For many people, periodontal maintenance may seem unnecessary, but the reality is that the best treatment for any potential periodontitis or other dental-related issues is prevention or early treatment.

What Exactly Is A Deep Cleaning And What Should You Expect?

Deep cleaning involves two main parts, namely scaling and root planing, but before anything is done, your dental appointment will start with an oral examination. Your dentist will do a physical exam of your mouth using a small mirror to assist. They will check around your teeth and gums for any signs of disease, inflammation, or other potential issues. If you have any serious contraindications, your dentist may advise you not to proceed with a deep cleaning at this stage, and you would first need to address any issues such as periodontitis.

More About Periodontitis

Periodontitis, meaning “inflammation around the tooth,” is a chronic bacterial infection. The infection can be quite severe, considering that the bacteria causing the infection secretes acids that break down connective tissue between your jawbone and teeth. While early stages may benefit from deep cleaning, it may become severe enough to require medication and other medicated treatment if left untreated.

Oral Care After Deep Cleaning

After your deep cleaning, the pockets should be free of bacteria, but your gum tissue will most likely feel sensitive. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on caring for your teeth in the weeks to follow. It’s best to be careful about what you eat and how you brush. Your dental professional might also prescribe a mouth rinse to reduce bacteria in your mouth.

Your dentist will likely ask for you to come back for a check-up in a couple of months.

Deep cleaning for your teeth might feel like a big step, but in reality, it’s an effective procedure that can remove infection and tartar so your gums can heal. By prepping yourself mentally for the procedure, you can take the first steps towards healthier and happier gums. After all, happier gums equal a happier you!

How to Relieve Pain After a Deep Teeth Cleaning

We take measures to ensure that your experience is as comfortable as possible! Before the treatment, we administer a local anesthetic to numb the area. Laughing gas can also be administered to help alleviate any nerves.

  • To relieve pain after a deep cleaning, you can take pain medication.
  • Try gargling a warm saltwater solution or rinsing your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash a few times a day to keep the gums clean and to reduce swelling/inflammation.
  • Don’t overexert yourself while you’re healing. Allow a few days to relax and rest your mouth.
  • Choose soft, nutrient-rich foods over hard, chewy or crunchy foods for at least a week. Hard foods and foods that require a lot of chewing can increase pain and discomfort.
  • Use a desensitizing toothpaste to minimize sensitivity and tenderness. Toothpastes that contain potassium nitrite can provide additional relief while you’re healing.
  • Ramp up your oral hygiene routine! This is key to preventing bacteria build-up that can cause increased pain and lead to infection. Brush carefully, but thoroughly. Keep your teeth and gums clean, but don’t use too much force.

What to Expect After Deep Cleaning of Teeth

You may notice that your teeth are sensitive for a week or two after cleaning. This is normal! Some subsequent tooth sensitivity just means that the cleaning was thorough.

How long does it take for gums to heal after deep cleaning?
On average, it takes anywhere from 5 to 7 days for the gums to heal after a deep cleaning.

While your mouth is healing, you may experience some bleeding and swelling of the gums. Teeth are likely to be sensitive, as their roots have recently been exposed. Avoiding foods or drinks that are considerably hot, cold or sweet is a good idea throughout the healing process.

Can teeth fall out after deep cleaning?

The purpose of a deep cleaning procedure is to prevent the teeth from falling out due to gum disease. Gum disease is actually the most common cause of tooth loss in adults!

At your follow-up appointment with us, we will assess your condition to ensure that there is no risk of infection. Maintaining proper oral hygiene, brushing and flossing thoroughly after your treatment is crucial to prevent gum infection after deep cleaning.