Did you know that 42% of adults in the United States have gum disease or periodontitis? And that periodontitis is one of the primary drivers of tooth loss? While these numbers are alarming, there’s also hope, as gum disease is reversible, especially in its earlier stages. Whether through a simple professional cleaning or a deep cleaning, we can turn the clock back on your dental health, preserving your teeth for years to come.
Johnny L. Smith, D.M.D. in Peoria, AZ, wants to make sure that you’re fully informed about any care that you may need. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide to help you understand what a deep cleaning is and why you may need one.
What is a deep cleaning?
A deep cleaning also referred to as scaling and root planing, is a method of cleaning the teeth below the gumline. It’s a comprehensive method of cleaning your teeth in areas that can often go neglected because they’re hard to reach.
Deep cleaning is used to treat and prevent gum disease caused by plaque, a sticky bacterial film that forms on your teeth. This substance can accumulate either above or below the gumline when teeth aren’t properly cleaned. Plaque can cause inflammation in your gums and ultimately lead to bone and tooth loss.
Deep cleaning can also include the application of antimicrobials. According to The American Academy of Periodontology, these antimicrobials effectively kill bacteria below the gumline.
Who needs a deep cleaning?
A deep cleaning is designed to clean the parts of your teeth that can’t be reached below the gumline. Those who have too much space, pockets between their teeth and gums are most at risk for having plaque collect in those areas.
Part of a deep cleaning procedure does involve measuring the depth of that space with a periodontal probe to determine if the pockets are wide enough to collect plaque. So, we can decide if you need a deep cleaning by measuring these spaces.
According to The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, healthy pockets measure 3 millimeters of space or less. If you have broader or deeper pockets, you may have gum disease, and a deep cleaning might be necessary.
What to expect after your deep cleaning
After your deep cleaning appointment, you may experience sensitivity, soreness, and bleeding in your teeth and gums. Be sure to maintain your follow-up appointments so that we can monitor and maintain your oral health.
To prevent gum disease, you’ll want to maintain a good oral care routine. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with a toothbrush and antimicrobial toothpaste, and floss daily. You’ll also want to eat a well-balanced diet, avoid smoking, and maintain regular dental checkups.
To learn more about gum disease and how a deep cleaning can help, contact Johnny L. Smith D.M.D. Call the office or request a consultation online today.