Everyone knows that keeping your teeth clean is important, and that regular visits to a good dentist are a great way to make sure your mouth is in tip-top shape. But many people are confused when they hear the term “deep teeth cleaning.” If your dentist has recommended deep teeth cleaning to you, here’s a little information on what it is, how it’s different, and what to expect during your appointment.
- What Is It?
Deep teeth cleaning is exactly what it sounds like — the dentist actually cleans the surfaces that are deeper inside the gum line. This is necessary when plaque builds up where brushing and flossing can’t reach, and that filmy buildup can actually cause the gum tissue to become detached from the surface of the tooth. If left untreated, your gums can actually recede, making your teeth appear longer, and exposing more sensitive sections of the tooth to harmful bacteria and trauma.
- How Is It Different From My Regular Cleaning?
The process is a little more invasive than your regular semi-annual cleanings. The process itself involves two actions: scaling and planing. Scaling removes the plaque from the surface of your teeth. Planing smooths out the enamel once the plaque is gone, providing a smooth surface for your gums to reattach.
- Does It Hurt?
Depending on the severity of the plaque buildup and how deep the cleaning must be, the dentist may have to numb the areas to be treated. If your whole mouth needs a deep teeth cleaning, your local dentist may divide the work into halves or quadrants, and schedule separate appointments. After the procedure, patients can expect slightly more sensitivity, as well as some discomfort and bruising for especially deep treatments. Ibuprofen is usually more than enough, however, to manage any post-procedure pain.
Dentists today are providing more and more services, from deep teeth cleaning and laser teeth cleaning, to laser teeth whitening and Invisalign trays. If you’re worried about your roots, or think your gums are receding, ask if your local dentist can offer you scaling and planing, to keep your teeth healthy from the roots up.