If your dentist has recommended a “deep cleaning” for you during your last dental visit, you may have been left wondering what exactly that means, and what it may mean for you. Continue reading for more information about deep cleanings, why they are recommended, and what you can expect during your treatment.
Why Do I Need A Deep Cleaning?
Deep cleanings are recommended for patients who have been diagnosed with Periodontitis. Periodontitis, or Periodontal Disease, is an advanced form of Gingivitis. Patients with Periodontitis usually have large amounts of calculus in their mouth, which is essentially plaque that has hardened due to the excess amount of bacteria that has accumulated as well as the time that it has been allowed to remain on the tooth. Calculus is extremely hard, and can only be removed by a dental hygienist with professional dental tools.
Causes of Periodontal Disease:
- Failure to brush or floss adequately; improper home care
- Progression of gingivitis
- Smoking (and other use of tobacco products)
- Genetic predispositions
- Excessive use of prescription medications
In the case of Periodontitis, the bacteria accumulates underneath the gum line, and eventually begins to eat away at the bone that holds the teeth in place. If left untreated, this can cause unpleasant odor, pain, and looseness in the teeth. Patients with severe cases of Periodontitis see large amounts of mobility and eventually loss of teeth. Below are the most common health risks associated with Periodontitis:
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Bleeding in the gums
- Recession of gums
- Loose teeth
- Loss of teeth
- Inflammation in the body
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Increased risk of stroke
- Increased risk of heart disease
What Is A Deep Cleaning?
In most cases, a deep cleaning, or “scaling” is recommended for the patient to remove the calculus buildup and clean out the bacteria in the mouth to prevent the progression of the condition. To do this, the dental hygienist places antibiotics underneath the gums after he or she has removed the calculus in order to stop the growth of bacteria. In some cases, there will be areas in the mouth that require a deep cleaning, while other areas do not. In these cases, the hygienist may recommend that a “localized” deep cleaning is done in order to eliminate the calculus and bacteria, and then he or she will complete a regular cleaning throughout the rest of the mouth. It is important to keep in mind that while Periodontitis can not be reversed, it can be stopped from progressing with proper care.
How Does A Deep Cleaning Differ From A Regular Cleaning?
Due to the amount of time required for scalings and placement of antibiotics, scalings tend to be more expensive than normal cleanings. This deters many people from getting their recommended treatment done, as many do not understand the difference between the two, and many people ask to have a regular cleaning done instead. It is not uncommon for dentists or dental hygienists to refuse to do this, though do not be alarmed; this is not your dentist choosing not to help you. It is quite the opposite. In refusing to do anything but a scaling for their patient, dentists and dental hygienists are making the best decision for their patient's health. A normal cleaning will do nothing to prevent the progression of Periodontitis, as it will not remove the bacteria that has accumulated under the gumline.
Moving forward with the information you learned here, you will have a better understanding of what you can personally expect during a deep cleaning. Speak with your trusted dentist at EZ Dental to discuss your treatment options.