The Pros and Cons of Deep Cleaning Teeth

Dental hygiene can fight bad breath and prevent gum disease. So it’s important to regularly brush and floss, and see a dentist twice a year for routine dental cleanings.

Sometimes, though, a dentist will recommend deep teeth cleaning. Signs that you might need a deep cleaning include bleeding gums, receding gums, and loose teeth. Although a deep cleaning — also called periodontal scaling or root planing — is common, it has its risks.

Here’s what you need to know about deep cleaning teeth, including the disadvantages of this procedure.

What is deep teeth cleaning?
A deep teeth cleaning can remove a buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth, reducing gum inflammation and improving gum health.

Plaque is a sticky film that forms on teeth. It contains bacteria and develops when food particles mix with saliva. You can remove plaque, which collects on teeth daily, by brushing your teeth.

Brushing, however, doesn’t remove all plaque in between your teeth. Leftover plaque calcifies or hardens, which forms tartar.

The accumulation of plaque or tartar can lead to gum disease. This includes gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. This is a serious infection that destroys the bone that supports the teeth.

Pros of deep cleaning

  • Stops gum disease
  • Fights bad breath
  • Protects roots of teeth
  • Promotes healthy gums
  • Prevents tooth loss

Cons of deep cleaning

  • Slight pain and sensitivity
  • Can cause gum recession
  • Risk of infection after the procedure
  • In very rare cases, a risk of nerve damage

What are the advantages of deep cleaning teeth?
You might need a deep cleaning if gum disease causes your gums to pull away from your teeth, creating a space greater than 5 millimeters (mm) deep.

If gum disease worsens, the space between your gums and teeth can continue to widen. This can weaken the bones that support your teeth, causing loose teeth or tooth loss.

If your dentist recommends a deep cleaning, benefits of this procedure include:

  • Stopping the advancement of gum disease.
  • Treating a current infection and promote healing
  • Cleaning your teeth above and below the gumline
  • Eliminating bad breath caused by gum disease
  • Protecting the roots of your teeth

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