When is the right time for deep cleaning teeth?

When is the Right Time for Deep Cleaning Teeth?

What signs point to the need for a deep teeth cleaning? First, let’s cover what exactly a deep cleaning is and what it entails.

A deep cleaning is usually advised when there are signs of gum disease such as bone loss, gum recession, bleeding gums, or infection. It’s different from a regular cleaning because it requires anesthesia. It also requires several follow-up visits to make sure any infection is gone and your gums are healing properly.

A regular cleaning stays above your gum line, polishing your teeth and removing plaque and tartar from around them. But a deep cleaning goes a little deeper through scaling and root planing.

Scaling is a technique that removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Root planing smoothes the tooth root and encourages the infected gums to reattach to the root. Both are needed in order to correct severe gum disease and get your teeth and gums back on a healthy track.

Do You Need a Deep Teeth Cleaning?

Most people only require regular teeth cleanings on a consistent basis. You may need a deeper, more thorough cleaning if:

Your dentist finds deep periodontal pockets: When a dentist uses a probe to painlessly push down along the gum on both sides of each tooth, they’re checking for periodontal pocket depth. A normal healthy pocket depth is usually three millimeters or less. If the dentist measures a pocket depth more than three millimeters, this means the gums are receding and you may need a deep cleaning.

Home care isn’t helping reverse gingivitis (a mild form of gum disease): Good oral hygiene can sometimes correct gingivitis. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, using antibacterial mouthwash, and having regular dental check-ups. But if these tactics aren’t working, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning to help encourage healing.

You’re diagnosed with periodontitis (an advanced stage of gum disease): To correct severe infection in your gums, a deep cleaning is necessary. It helps clear up hard-to-reach areas so the infection can heal and the gums can strengthen. If you have advanced gum disease, a deep cleaning is an essential step to healing.

You haven’t kept up with regular cleanings for a long time: If it’s been years since you’ve had a regular teeth cleaning, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning. This depends on your individual circumstances, of course. Talk to your dentist if it’s been a long time since you’ve had your teeth cleaned.

If you’re worried about whether or not you need a deep cleaning for your teeth, as well as what it involves, talk to your dentist. Bring up your concerns and questions at your next appointment. Your dentist can advise you on if a deep teeth cleaning is the next best step. No matter what the answer is, the goal is to get you on a steady path towards good oral health.

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