Ideally, 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.
ABOUT YOUR LAKE ORION, MI, DENTIST:
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.