- August 16, 2021
One of the most important reasons for your bi-annual visits to the dentist is to get your teeth cleaned. Even with good tooth brushing and flossing habits, tartar can build up on your teeth, especially along the gum line. The dental hygienist cleans all tooth surfaces and along the gum line during a regular cleaning.
Based on x-rays or gum pocket depth measurements, your dentist may decide a deep teeth cleaning is necessary. This recommendation is not made lightly, and you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
During your exam, your dentist assesses the health of both teeth and gums. Healthy gums are pink, firm and do not bleed when brushed or flossed. If your gums are red, puffy, and bleed easily when touched, you likely have gingivitis, which can lead to serious periodontal disease if left untreated.
A deep teeth cleaning removes the gingivitis on your teeth and below the gum line to help prevent the issue from worsening. An infection of the gums can spread to the bones that support your teeth, leading to tooth loss. That’s why preventative care is important.
Signs You Need A Deep Teeth Cleaning
Red, puffy gums that bleed easily are one sign of gingivitis. Your dentist will also use a small ruler (periodontal probe) to measure the depth of gum pockets — where swollen gums have created a space around your teeth. Pockets that measure 1 to 3 mm are considered normal. Measurements of 4mm or more combined with other evidence of periodontal disease generally require a deep cleaning.
Without a deep cleaning, the gum pockets can continue to grow along with the buildup of plaque and tartar.
What Happens During A Deep Cleaning?
During a deep cleaning, your dentist performs a “root planing and scaling” of tartar buildup below the gum line to the roots of your teeth. Deposits are removed and surfaces are smoothed to make them more resistant to future buildup.
Typically, deep cleaning is performed over the course of two or three visits. You’ll receive anesthesia in the area of the mouth that is being treated.
After about a month after the final deep cleaning appointment, you’ll return for a follow-up assessment of your gum health. You’ll also want to return on a regular schedule as recommended by your dentist to monitor the progression of the gingival health of your gums.
At Shorewood Family Dental Care, the dentist for all ages, we can use dental lasers as an effective tool for deep cleaning procedures. Lasers provide us with a more efficient way to remove infection from the tissue in your mouth. They promote healing and recovery is almost immediate because the laser heals as it goes, promoting the production of healthy tissue in the process.
Prevention Is Key
You’re not alone in needing a deep teeth cleaning. Gum disease affects about one-half of all Americans. The sooner you address the problem, the better chance you have for a good outcome.
Keep in mind, gum disease affects more than just your mouth. The progression of gum disease has been linked in studies to increased risks for diabetes, heart disease, dementia and other chronic illnesses.