Regular brushing and flossing are essential to having good oral health, as are regular visits to the dentist. The professional cleanings you undergo during these visits can help stave off plaque, cavities, and many other dental issues. However, if you have not visited the dentist as often as you should, you may be due to have a deep gum cleaning.
What is Deep Gum Cleaning?
Deep gum cleaning is not the same as a regular cleaning. It is a dental procedure that is used to treat gum and periodontal diseases, and a dental hygienist typically conducts that. It is used to remove the bacteria that can settle below the gums and can cause the bone loss that contributes to the loosening of teeth and worsening existing medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.
The bacteria that are caught under the gumline cannot be removed with flossing, brushing or a regular cleaning. If it is left untreated, it can cause an immune response in the body, which can result in inflammation. The inflammation can progress deeper under the gumline and result in the loss bone, which can compromise your oral health.
The Deep Gum Cleaning Process
Deep gum cleaning, also referred to as scaling and root planning, involves using specialized dental tools to clean your mouth. During the scaling portion of the process, the bacteria, tartar, and plaque are removed from the surface of the teeth and from inside the pocket areas between the gums and teeth. Root planing involves removing any part of the tooth structure that is infected and smoothing the root surfaces.
The process typically requires at least two visits to the dentist to complete as well as a follow-up appointment to ensure that the state of your teeth and gums has improved and to determine whether the gum pockets around your teeth have deepened. Once you have undergone a deep gum cleaning and the bacteria that were hidden and multiplied in the pockets areas around the teeth have been removed, you should begin to see a noticeable improvement in the health of your gums within the next few weeks. This is as long as you adhere to a daily oral health routine that includes proper brushing and flossing.
When Do You Need Deep Gum Cleaning
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, adults should undergo a periodontal assessment every year to see if they require a deep gum cleaning. Individuals who haven’t had a professional cleaning at regular dental visits, usually every six months, will typically have to undergo this procedure. The dental hygienist will use a dental probe to measure the areas around your teeth to identify any pocketing. Normal pockets are no more than three millimeters deep. If the depth of the gum tissues between the gums and teeth is at least five millimeters, your dentist will likely recommend the procedure.
If you are overdue for a dental visit, you may be a good candidate for a deep gum cleaning. Don’t hesitate to speak with your dentist about having a comprehensive evaluation to determine the state of your oral health.