Deep cleaning is when your dentist cleans the roots of your teeth and the area below your gum line to remove any plaque and tartar buildup. Plaque is the sticky film that forms on teeth that has bacteria and develops when food particles mix with saliva. Tartar is plaque that has hardened your teeth. Deep cleaning is commonly done to reduce gum inflammation and improve gum health. Here are the pros and cons of getting this procedure done as well as how it’s done.
Deep cleaning, also known as gum therapy, is recommended and performed by a dentist or dental hygienist to treat periodontal or gum disease. When someone has gum disease, the pocket between the space between the teeth and the gums opens up and becomes wider and wider, trapping tartar and plaque. Dentists will recommend the procedure if the space is 5mm or more. The procedure usually requires two or more visits in order to minimize discomfort. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the mouth. Routine cleaning is generally enough for people who do not have gum disease.
Regular cleaning is different from deep cleaning. Regular cleaning removes plaque and tartar from above the gum line while deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Cleaning below the gum line is specifically for people with gum disease and subsequent space between the gums that has built up.
Pros of deep cleaning
- Stops the advancement of gum disease.
- Treats the current infection and promotes healing.
- Cleans the teeth above and below the gum line.
- Eliminates bad breath caused by gum disease.
- Protects the roots of your teeth.
- Promotes healthy gums.
- Prevents tooth loss.
Cons of deep cleaning
Certain risks come with deep cleaning teeth majority of which pass in 5-7 days. If the negative effects persist, you should speak to your dentist or dental hygienist.
- Pain and sensitivity after the procedure.
- Risk of infection after the procedure.
- In very rare cases, risk of nerve damage.
- Can cause gum recession (when the gums don’t reattach to the teeth, they instead pull back exposing the roots of your teeth).
- Tends to recur so once you undergo deep cleaning, it’s unlikely to be your last time.
- Risk of losing teeth.
- Don’t eat until after the numbness has left your mouth.
- Avoid acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes as well as challenging foods like steak and foods with small pieces like gums, nuts, and popcorn.
- Rinse with salt water daily to clean the area and keep infection at bay.
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