What Is a Deep Dental Cleaning and Who Should Have One?

When you go too long between dental cleanings, plaque buildup can edge below your gumline, causing pockets of bacteria. Untreated, these pockets can cause gum disease, first appearing as gingivitis, and progressing to full-blown periodontal disease. If your gums are sensitive or bleed when you brush, it could be time for a deep dental cleaning.

At Steelecroft Dental in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Narender S. Dudee provides a full range of dental services, including deep dental cleanings to remove all plaque and harmful bacteria from under your gumline.

How teeth get dirty below the gumline

Plaque is a bacteria-filled film that sticks to your teeth and can get below the gumline and adhere to your tooth roots. If you don’t remove plaque, it hardens into tartar (also called calculus). Tartar buildup widens the space between your teeth and your gum tissue, creating a pocket.

More bacteria can get into these pockets, causing irritation. Over time, the irritation becomes infection, and your gums can swell, redden, and bleed when you brush or floss. This is called gingivitis, and it’s the earliest stage of periodontitis, or gum disease. 

Periodontal disease can spread throughout your mouth, causing your gums to draw back from your teeth and creating a vicious circle. More bacteria takes hold, the pockets widen, and even the bone below your teeth can become infected and start to deteriorate. 

With unchecked gum disease, your teeth can loosen, fall out, and a chain reaction can lead to the loss of more teeth until you become completely toothless (edentulous). Fortunately, periodontitis can be treated and even reversed if caught in the early stages.

How deep dental cleanings treat gum disease

A deep dental cleaning — also called scaling and root planing — gets plaque and tartar off of your teeth both above and below the gumline using special tools. The tools are designed to gently scale the tartar off of your teeth and plane the tooth root to smooth your teeth without harming your gums.

Scaling and planing get rid of bacteria and allow your gums to reattach to your cleaner, smoother teeth. If you have a gum infection, Dr. Dudee may prescribe antibiotics to help you heal.

If you see your dentist regularly for cleanings and have an excellent track record at home of brushing and flossing, you can usually keep gum disease at bay. If you have gingivitis or periodontitis, Dr. Dudee can recommend a deep dental cleaning.

By treating gum disease early, you can preserve your teeth and gum health. Contact our office at 980-320-0207, or request an appointment with Dr. Dudee using our online scheduling tool.

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