A “deep cleaning”, also known as scaling and root planing, is a treatment performed to clean the gum line at the onset of infection. When the gum line first becomes infected with bacteria, this is called gingivitis. If the infection progresses, it becomes “periodontitis”, also known as gum disease.
The purpose of a deep cleaning is to clean the gum line and stop bacteria growth to prevent gum disease from developing. We consider this treatment the first line of defense against gum disease.
According to the American Dental Association, 50% of adults over 30 suffer from gum disease. With that in mind, it is vital to establish healthy oral hygiene habits early on to prevent periodontitis!
Here’s what you need to know about deep cleaning treatments and what to expect during and after your treatment.
Is Deep Dental Cleaning Necessary?
When tartar and other toxins form around your gum line, deep cleaning is the only way to treat it. Your periodontist will suggest this treatment if your homecare isn’t proving effective.
At Periodontal Health Center, we provide deep cleaning treatments in Tampa and New Port Richey to remove plaque and tartar from the root surfaces on or around your gum line. To maximize our patients’ comfort, we apply a local anesthetic that numbs the area and eases the sensation of a deep cleaning.
Preparing for Deep Cleaning
A deep cleaning treatment may seem scary, as we’ve heard questions like, “Can teeth fall out after a deep cleaning, or will I be in pain after my treatment?” Luckily, the answer is no. We take every precaution to ensure the easiest possible experience for our patients.
To prepare for your first appointment, you’ll have to fulfill a few requirements:
- Be sure to brush and floss your teeth gently before your appointment. (We want to avoid any added inflammation.)
- Write down any apprehensions you may have, or questions you want to ask your periodontist.
- Be prepared with information about your insurance provider and your best form of payment.
Deep Cleaning Process
Your periodontist can perform a deep cleaning in two or more appointments, but this depends on the severity of your condition.
Our doctors or hygienists will carefully clean the crown and root surfaces under the gums during your deep cleaning to remove bacteria, toxins, and tartar buildup from the pockets between your gums and the roots of your teeth.
The process begins with the removal of the plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth during scaling. The second phase, which is called root planning, will remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line and around your teeth.
Our patients’ comfort is of paramount importance to us, so we’ll use a local anesthetic to provide relief during the procedure. Nitrous, or laughing gas, can be added for additional anxiety relief.
Deep Cleaning Aftercare
During the first days after your procedure, you may experience mild discomfort and bleeding, but this is normal. Your doctor may give you medicine to ease the pain, too. However, if the ache persists, don’t hesitate to call your periodontist to ask for further guidance.
Being cautious with your diet during the following days will help to ease the soreness. Choose softer, non-acidic food until the numbness wears off. Some examples are eating dairy products, soups, and soft foods, like scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes.
After a few weeks, your gums should have a much healthier appearance. Many periodontists do a follow-up visit to make sure everything is healing as expected. However, there are cases in which deep cleaning isn’t enough, and your doctor may suggest other treatments, like gum surgery.
Let us help you protect your teeth against periodontitis! The best treatment for gum disease is prevention.