What is a Deep Dental Cleaning and Why Would I Need One?

What is a Deep Dental Cleaning and Why Would I Need One?

Did you know that 42% of adults in the United States have gum disease or periodontitis? And that periodontitis is one of the primary drivers of tooth loss? While these numbers are alarming, there’s also hope, as gum disease is reversible, especially in its earlier stages. Whether through a simple professional cleaning or a deep cleaning, we can turn the clock back on your dental health, preserving your teeth for years to come.

George Harding, DDS, and Ermias Semaie, DDS, of Hyattsville Dental Care in Hyattsville, Maryland, provide superior treatment to ensure patients maintain optimal oral health. Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime, and we want to ensure that they do, which is why we offer professional cleaning services that keep your gums and teeth in optimal health.

To help you better understand what we can accomplish through a deep cleaning, here’s a look at what it is and why you may need one.

Enemy No. 1

Your teeth are designed to go the distance with you, helping you chew and speak through every stage of your life. But life sometimes has different plans, and gum disease can develop, placing the health of your teeth and gums in great peril.

Gum disease starts out innocently enough: A buildup of bacteria in plaque causes mild inflammation in your gums. At this stage of the gum disease game, called gingivitis, regular professional cleanings with us twice a year are typically sufficient to remedy the problem.

If, however, your gingivitis is aggressive or goes untreated, it can lead quite quickly to periodontitis, causing your gums to pull away from your teeth, allowing pockets to form where more damaging bacteria can seep in and wreak havoc.

As the periodontitis advances, it can damage your bone, leading to loose teeth that may eventually fall out altogether.

Going deep

If your gum disease has advanced to periodontitis, we turn to a deep cleaning which, as the name suggests, is a procedure in which we thoroughly clean out the plaque from underneath your gums. 

Also called a scaling and root planing procedure, the first step we take is to remove all of the plaque and tartar from your teeth, especially up under your gums where the pockets have formed. To do this, we use special ultrasonic instruments or manual tools to successfully remove all of the bacteria-harboring matter.

Once your teeth are cleaned, we take the cleaning a step further by performing a preventive procedure that will help ward off future problems with gum disease. This is the part called root planing, where we use a scaling instrument to smooth out the planes of your roots in order to encourage your gums to reattach snugly to your teeth. By doing this, we can prevent bacteria from creeping back in down the road.

Depending upon the degree of your gum disease, we may have to perform your deep cleaning over two visits. You may experience some minor discomfort afterward, which you can address with over-the-counter medications, but your gums will quickly heal without bacteria present.

After your successful deep cleaning, we give you instructions for maintaining your dental health, and the guidance doesn’t include anything extraordinary. Brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing, and keeping up with your regular visits with us should do the trick nicely. 

If you’d like to learn more about gum disease and how a deep cleaning can help, contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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