An In-Depth Look at Deep Cleanings

Handsome Man Wonders About Deep Cleaning for Gum DiseaseIdeally, the only type of teeth cleaning you’ll ever need is the kind you receive at your regular, six-month checkups. However, if you don’t take care of your teeth or if you skip visiting the dentist for a few years, you may find yourself in need of a treatment called deep cleaning. Deep cleanings are one of the most common treatments for gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) and can help you enjoy a healthier mouth even if you’ve let things go for a while.

What Makes it a “Deep” Cleaning?

Whereas a regular cleaning removes plaque and tartar from the visible portion of the tooth (the part that is visible above the gum line), a deep cleaning goes beneath the gums to remove built up tartar and plaque on the surface of the tooth’s roots. Deep cleanings usually consist of two steps:

  • Scaling, which removes existing tartar and plaque from the tooth roots to remove the source of gum disease infection
  • Planing, which creates a smoother surface on the tooth roots to prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar in the future

In some cases, your dentist may wish to follow up a deep cleaning with a topical antibiotic to ensure that the gum infection has been completely eradicated. After a deep cleaning, you’re likely to experience some sensitivity in the area. Over-the-counter pain medication (like Tylenol) will help manage this discomfort until it goes away.

Maintaining Good Gum Health After a Deep Cleaning

We’ll get this out of the way first: deep cleanings are not the most pleasant experience in the world, so you’ll want to make sure you follow a consistent dental hygiene plan to make sure you never have to have another one performed. Luckily, maintaining healthy gums after a deep cleaning is relatively simple. Brush 2-3 times every day for at least two minutes. Floss daily, either with traditional waxed floss, handheld flossers, or a water/air flosser. Many people augment their dental hygiene routine with an over-the-counter multipurpose mouthwash that’s specifically formulated to prevent gum disease.


At Lake Orion Family Dentistry, Dr. Brad Greenfield works to improve patients’ wellbeing, as well as their oral health, and he is proud to offer holistic, 100% metal-free dentistry. To learn more, or to schedule a dental appointment, call our office in Lake Orion, MI, today at 248-693-6213. We proudly welcome patients and families from around Lake Orion, MI, as well as Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Clarkston, Oxford, all surrounding communities.