Deep cleaning of teeth is where your dental professional cleans below the gum line of your teeth. This procedure removes plaque and bacteria and helps to prevent gum disease. Deep cleaning is not normally a routine procedure. Rather, it is performed where patients have not visited the dentist for years or are not maintaining good oral hygiene. Deep cleaning can be painful so patients are usually offered anaesthetic.
Preventing Gum Disease
Plaque and tartar on teeth create ideal conditions for bacteria to multiply and grow. Bacteria irritate your gums, causing them to recede and bleed. Bleeding gums are a possible symptom of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. Deep cleaning helps prevent gingivitis spreading down toward the roots of your teeth, eliminating bacteria and stopping erosion of the bone holding your teeth in place. Deep cleaning of teeth helps to prevent gum disease, or manages it if already present.
Removing Plaque Below the Gum Line
Part of the deep-cleaning process is scaling. This removes tartar from the teeth and plaque from deep below the gum line, as far as the root. These substances contain thousands of bacteria that attack your gums and teeth.
Smoothing of the Root Surface
Root planing is also performed during deep cleaning. This is the smoothing of the root surface. Plaque attaches more easily to rough surfaces. Smoothing the surfaces of the root makes it is less able to stick and the bacteria within it to cause damage and irritation. Infected tooth structure is also removed during this process.
Aside from the benefits of deep cleaning of teeth, discomfort is often a short-term side effect. Deep cleaning is performed deep under the gum line, a sensitive region that often produces a lot of pain. Your teeth can become more sensitive and bleed. Your can relax your daily dental routine for a while, as flossing and brushing may prove painful. Rinsing with salt water or chlorhexidine can help.
The Oral Cancer Foundation says that in the U.S., approximately 37,000 individuals were diagnosed with oral cancer in 2010. Deep cleaning of teeth helps to prevent oral cancer because your dental professional is examining for its signs and symptoms. Oral cancer is highly curable when diagnosed in the early stages.
Part of your deep cleaning session involves stain removal. Tea, coffee and tobacco stains are polished away, leaving you with a whiter smile.