When it comes to dental care, we often hear about regular cleanings and check-ups. But what about deep teeth cleanings (or scaling and root planing)? Are they really necessary? For some people, yes; for others, no.
When you visit our office for a dental check-up or cleaning, we evaluate your oral health to see if a deep dental cleaning is needed. If so, we’ll explain why you need scaling and root planing and what the process involves. Then, we’ll schedule your deep cleaning appointment.
In this blog, we explore what deep teeth cleanings entail, why they might be recommended, and how they contribute to your oral health.
Understanding Deep Teeth Cleanings
A deep teeth cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a dental procedure that goes beyond a routine cleaning. It involves the removal of plaque and tartar buildup not just on the surface of the teeth, but also below the gumline, targeting the roots of the teeth. This process aims to treat gum disease and prevent its progression.
Signs That You Might Need a Deep Teeth Cleaning
1. Gum Disease Diagnosis
If you've been diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist may recommend a deep teeth cleaning. Gum disease, in its advanced stages, can lead to the formation of pockets between the teeth and gums where bacteria thrive. Deep cleaning helps eliminate these pockets.
2. Persistent Bad Breath
Has your partner complained about your bad breath? Are you embarrassed when speaking with others? Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, can be a sign of gum disease. When bacteria multiply beneath the gum line, they release foul-smelling gases. A deep cleaning can address this issue by removing the source of the odor.
3. Bleeding Gums
Healthy gums should not bleed during brushing or flossing. If you notice bleeding, it may be a sign of gum inflammation or gingivitis. A deep cleaning can help reduce inflammation and restore gum health.
4. Receding Gums
Gums that pull away from the teeth can expose the roots, making them vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. A deep cleaning can halt the progression of gum recession by removing plaque and tartar buildup.
The Procedure: What to Expect
During a deep teeth cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will use specialized instruments to carefully remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and below the gum line. They will then smooth out the tooth roots to prevent future buildup.
While the procedure may take longer than a routine cleaning, it is typically painless. In some cases, local anesthesia may be used to ensure your comfort.
Benefits of a Deep Teeth Cleaning
1. Stops Gum Disease Progression
A deep teeth cleaning is a crucial step in treating gum disease. Removing the bacteria and buildup below the gumline helps halt the progression of the disease and prevents further damage to the gums and bone.
2. Prevents Tooth Loss
Periodontal disease is a primary cause of tooth loss in adults. By addressing the underlying issue, a deep cleaning can help preserve your natural teeth.
3. Improves Oral Health
Beyond treating gum disease, a deep cleaning contributes to overall oral health. It leaves your mouth feeling refreshed, reduces bad breath, and provides a clean slate for maintaining good dental hygiene.
Do I Really Need a Deep Teeth Cleaning?
While not everyone will require a deep teeth cleaning, it's a procedure that can be highly beneficial for individuals with gum disease or specific risk factors. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health and recommend a deep cleaning if it's necessary.
It's important to remember that prevention is key. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help identify and address oral health issues before they escalate, potentially reducing the need for a deep cleaning in the future.
Is A Deep Teeth Cleaning Right For You?
A deep teeth cleaning is a valuable tool in maintaining optimal oral health, particularly for those with gum disease or related symptoms. If you're unsure whether you need one, consult our dental team, who can provide personalized advice based on your unique oral health needs. Remember, a healthy smile starts with proactive care!