A deep cleaning at the dentist is also called scaling and planing. This is different from the regular cleaning you get twice a year. It is a deeper cleaning that goes under your gums to prevent or cure gum disease.
Why Do You Need Deep Teeth Cleaning?
Gum disease is a preventable infection of your mouth. It’s also called periodontitis. Without treatment, it can damage the gum tissue above and around your teeth. Periodontitis can even damage your jawbone and teeth if it’s left too long. Periodontitis separates your gums from your teeth. This leaves pockets for bacteria to grow. This bacteria is not removed by regular brushing or flossing. Deep teeth cleaning allows a dentist to get underneath your gums and remove harmful bacteria. Afterward, your gums can reattach to your teeth with healthy tissue.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
Red or purple gums
Pus between your teeth
Pain when you chew
Receding gums (teeth look longer than usual)
New spaces between teeth
Changes in your bite
Teeth that are loose or falling out
Periodontitis is usually caused by a lack of oral hygiene. You can help prevent it by brushing your teeth regularly, flossing, and using mouthwash. Going to the dentist at least twice a year, or as often as recommended, is also part of a good oral hygiene routine.
What Happens in a Dental Deep Cleaning?
Your dentist may use a local anesthetic to numb the area. They can inject it or put it on the tissue, as with lidocaine. The type of anesthetic will depend on your condition.
Dentists use a scraping tool to get under your gums to clean out bacteria. They then smooth out your teeth’s roots in a process called planing to allow your gums to reattach. Some dentists use an ultrasonic tool for scraping because it can be more comfortable than the regular scraper tool.
Dentists also sometimes put antibiotic fibers into your gums to help fight bacteria. Or they may prescribe antibiotic pills or mouthwash.
What Happens After a Deep Cleaning?
You may have sensitive teeth for a week or so after a deep cleaning of your teeth. Your mouth may be painful for a few days.
Your gums should be more healthy and your gum disease should go away if you keep up good dental hygiene after the procedure. Quitting smoking also helps to promote healing and prevent gum disease.
Risks of Deep Dental Cleaning
Scaling and root planing is a low-risk procedure for most people. You may be more likely to get an infection from the bacteria in your mouth if you have a weakened immune system, heart problems, or artificial body parts.
Oral bacteria sometimes enter your bloodstream. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics before and after the procedure if you have an immune problem or are in a high-risk group.