You know that regular cleanings are an important facet of proper dental care, but you may not know too much about deep cleaning and why you might need it. At the offices of Richard Hardt, DDS, your dental health is our top priority.
We want to make sure that you’re fully informed about any care that you may need. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide to help you understand what a deep cleaning is and why you may really need one.
What is a deep cleaning?
A deep cleaning, also referred to as scaling and root planing, is a method of cleaning the teeth below the gumline. It’s a comprehensive method of cleaning your teeth in areas that can often go neglected because they’re hard to reach.
Deep cleaning is used to treat and prevent gum disease, which is caused by plaque, a sticky bacterial film that forms on your teeth. This substance can accumulate either above or below the gumline when teeth aren’t properly cleaned. Plaque can cause inflammation in your gums and ultimately lead to bone and tooth loss.
Deep cleaning can also include the application of antimicrobials. According to The American Academy of Periodontology, these antimicrobials effectively kill bacteria below the gumline.
Who needs a deep cleaning?
A deep cleaning is designed to clean the parts of your teeth that can’t be reached below the gumline. Those who have too much space, pockets, between their teeth and gums are most at risk for having plaque collect in those areas.
Part of a deep cleaning procedure does involve measuring the depth of that space with a periodontal probe to determine if the pockets are wide enough to collect plaque. So, we can determine if you need a deep cleaning by measuring these spaces.
According to The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, normal healthy pockets measure about 3 millimeters of space or less. If you have wider or deeper pockets, you may have gum disease and a deep cleaning might be necessary.
What to expect after your deep cleaning
After your deep cleaning appointment, you may experience sensitivity, soreness, and bleeding in your teeth and gums. Be sure to maintain your follow-up appointments so that we can monitor and maintain your oral health.
To prevent gum disease, you’ll want to maintain a good oral care routine. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with a toothbrush and antimicrobial toothpaste, and floss once daily. You’ll also want to eat a well-balanced diet, avoid smoking, and maintain regular dental checkups.