Who can benefit from a deep cleaning?
Patients who have one or more of the following:
- history of gum disease
- bone loss
- swollen and/or bleeding gums
- haven’t had a professional tooth cleaning in over a year
- have hardened deposits of build up above and below the gumline
What are the benefits of a deep cleaning?
The benefits of a deep cleaning are far reaching because your mouth is connected to the rest of your body. When there is inflammation in your mouth, that bacteria travels into your body and causes inflammation systemically. In addition, you will be fighting against bad breath, and you will feel much healthier all around. Not only will you have better breath, you will be able to hold your your teeth longer.
Most importantly, multiple studies have shown that there is a direct link of oral bacteria to:
- cardiovascular disease- heart disease, strokes
- pulmonary illness- respiratory diseases, COPD, pneumonia
- cancer (strongly linked to breast and pancreatic cancer)
- premature births
What is a deep cleaning?
There are multiple different levels of teeth cleaning on the spectrum, most of them listed here in order of earliest to advanced disease progression.
- the kind you do at home when flossing and brushing your teeth
- a “regular” cleaning with the hygienist
- a periodontal maintenance with the hygienist
- a debridement with the hygienist
- a “deep cleaning” with the hygienist
- a surgical cleaning (a surgery performed by a gum specialist)
A deep cleaning is a more comprehensive cleaning because it cleans not just above the gumline, but below it as well. Bacteria can build up below the gumline and accumulate on the roots of the teeth and become calcified, or hardened. Without professional treatment with instruments that are specifically designed to remove these very tenacious deposits and can reach deep enough below the gumline on the roots of the teeth, this bacteria and build up will cause inflammation, gum infection, bone loss and bad breath. When there is inflammation in the gums, the bone will truly “run away” from this inflammation and resorb, and the teeth will loosen up over time because the bone is no longer holding onto the teeth. This bone does not grow back, so it’s critical to maintain a healthy environment for your teeth and gums.
Gum disease is cyclical in nature, and is never 100% cured. Gum disease needs to be maintained forever to keep removing the bad bacteria and build up on a regular basis. We always reevalute the response of your gums to the treatment 8 weeks after the deep cleaning, and then we can determine if you are then ready to go on a regular periodontal maintenance program (more extensive than a regular cleaning but less extensive than a deep cleaning). Once we do a deep cleaning, our goal is to get you healthy enough to maintain your gums with periodontal maintenance.
You may need a deep cleaning on all of your dentition, or you may only need it in a few select areas, like your molars, where it’s more difficult for you to access and clean properly on your own.
What can I expect when I get a deep cleaning?
Using local anesthesia, our hygienist we will numb the areas to treat. We use special scaling instruments and an ultrasonic machine to vibrate off bacteria and build up. If it’s just a few select spots, it might only take 45 minutes. If it’s the whole mouth, we allow about 2 hours to be thorough. Sometimes we place Atridox, an antibiotic locally around specific teeth that releases antibiotic over time. The recovery is minimal- just the time it takes for the anesthesia to wear off, about 2-4 hours, and your gums may be a little sore for 24-48 hours afterwards, which we can counteract with over-the-counter pain meds such as Tylenol, Motrin or Advil.
Contact Us for More Information
The better you feel about yourself, the more beautiful your smile will be. Use our contact form to request an appointment today!