Clean It Like You Mean It: Deep Cleaning
Things on the blog are about to get deep. Yes… we’re talking about scaling and root planing, also known as periodontal deep cleanings.
Gums are responsible for protecting the tissue and bone that support the teeth. When this tissue pulls away from the teeth, little pockets form where bacteria, plaque, and tartar may build up and could cause gum disease. But if you can’t visibly see the separation between gums and teeth, how do you, as a non-dental professional, know if you have gum disease? You might start to notice inflamed, swollen gums. If you’re still not sure, your dentist will be able to let you know if there is anything you should be concerned about, and will also advise a plan to manage whatever oral issue is going on down there.
Deep cleaning can help manage gum disease with a few follow-up cleanings for maintenance. So what exactly happens during a deep cleaning? Well, it’s exactly as it sounds. Your dentist will numb the quadrants of the mouth being worked on (this sometimes means your procedure will likely be done in more than one sitting) and clean the parts of the teeth below the gum line. The process will be similar to your biannual teeth cleaning (yes, you should be seeing the dentists on a biannual basis) where your dentist will scrape away plaque and tartar build-up. Your dentist might also reshape the tooth to eliminate areas where bacteria might return.
Deep cleanings are not done routinely at a biannual teeth cleaning and are not for everyone. You’ll have to talk consult with your dentist to see if you’re a candidate.