What is deep cleaning?
If you think deep cleaning your teeth sounds like something you do after you’ve missed several dental cleanings, think again. A deep cleaning is a specific procedure performed by your dental hygienist to treat gum and periodontal disease. It’s often done when a person has not had regular professional cleaning appointments every six months.
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a serious chronic infection. Bacteria have collected in the pockets and spaces below the gum line, around calculus (plaque) that has built up, usually due to infrequent flossing and inadequate oral hygiene.
The bacteria secrete acids that dissolve the bone tissue that connect your teeth and jawbone.
If untreated, this chronic infection will progress. You will lose your teeth, and your jaw bone will continue to suffer bone loss that can’t be recovered or restored.
We aren’t trying to scare you, we’re just stating the facts. Periodontitis is, quite literally, a symptom of your body destroying itself in a desperate attempt to fight off a chronic infection. This is not an upsell, this is a diagnosis and a sign of serious oral health issues in the near future.
Like any healthcare professionals, dentistry has a standard of care, which regulates what kind of treatment we can provide based on the condition of a person’s oral health.
Periodontitis is considered a big red flag when it comes to oral health. A chronic and systemic infection in any other area of the body should be treated and addressed immediately – the mouth is no different.
How does deep cleaning work?
Deep cleaning is also known in the dental world as scaling and root planing. Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and from the pocket area between the teeth and gums, according to the NIDCR. The dental hygienist can perform scaling and root planing using either electriceor ultrasonic instruments or manual scaling tools.
The other part of deep cleaning is root planing. The dental hygienist will use a scaling instrument to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the roots of your teeth. A scaling and root planing procedure will require a minimum of two visits as an appointment. A follow-up visit may be necessary to confirm that your gums and teeth are getting healthier and there is no pocket depth.
What’s the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning?
A regular cleaning, which focuses at and above the gum line, may disturb the colonies of bacteria, releasing them into your bloodstream and into the rest of your body. A regular cleaning polishes your teeth, and a deep cleaning removes the bacteria colonies from your mouth. That’s why there’s really no comparison between a deep dental cleaning vs regular cleaning.
Is deep cleaning an option?
We cannot perform a regular cleaning when you have untreated periodontitis.
It’s against our ethical and professional standards. It’s with your best interests at heart.
Nearly half of all adults in the United States over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. Gum disease is a huge public health issue, with widespread impacts on health issues such as heart disease, COPD, other inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and pregnancy.
What do I do if I have gum disease?
Gum disease is treatable, curable, and most importantly, preventable. If you have dental insurance, chances are deep cleaning treatment is covered. If you are pregnant, seek treatment right away – gum disease is linked to preterm birth and babies with low birthweight. If you are having trouble making ends meet, make a plan. Ask us how we can help you.
Patients who have had their periodontitis treated at our office have repeatedly told us how much better they feel overall after their treatment.
Not just their mouth, but their whole body. It’s amazing how hard your body can work to fight off systemic infection, and what a toll it can take on your energy levels and overall health.
Patients who have come back for follow up maintenance visits and regular cleanings post-treatment report that brushing and flossing is easier, and isn’t painful anymore. They have more confidence because their chronic bad breath has gone away. Most importantly, our patients are able to keep their natural teeth for years to come.