What is the difference between deep teeth cleaning and a regular cleaning? A typical dental cleaning usually includes: scaling teeth surfaces followed by a thorough polishing. Here is an overview of deep teeth cleaning is and the benefits of this process.

An Overview of Deep Teeth Cleaning


Gingivitis and Deep Teeth Cleaning (aka Periodontal Therapy)

Gingivitis — a condition in which gums can bleed and feel tender — is the first stage of periodontal disease. Most adults have some level of gum disease, so don’t be alarmed if your dentist tells you that you have Gingivitis. You regular dental cleaning will help reduce the conditions that allow bacteria to thrive, which is why it’s so important not to skip it! If left untreated, the inflammation will work its way down deeper into gums towards the base of teeth creating what is known as periodontal pockets.

Deep cleaning takes an ordinary cleaning a step further with a procedure known as root planing.

Root Planing

The process of smoothing out root surfaces and removing infected tooth structure is known as root planing. Depending on the depth of the periodontal pocket and the severity of surface irregularities, your dentist may decide to numb the area for you. This can be done with an ordinary injection of Novocaine, or in some cases, with a special non-injection device that delivers a topical anesthetic gel into the pocket. Whatever method is used, let your dentist know if you’re feeling uncomfortable. Often, you’ll feel little — if any — real discomfort from the procedure.

Once the roots have been planed, there’s a better chance of gum tissues healing and reattaching themselves. Typically, once root planing has been done, pockets are not as deep as they were before the procedure.

How Long Does it Take?

Usually, your dentist will work on deep cleaning by dividing the job into four appointments for each quadrant of the mouth. This way, you’ll avoid being in the chair for long periods of time, and you’ll also avoid having to have your entire mouth numbed at one time! If you’d like to knock this out in one appointment without feeling anxious or uncomfortable, we offer a service called Conscious sedation, which will allow you to sit back, relax and get a deep teeth cleaning without having to come back to the dentist multiple times!

The Healing Process

Discomfort after a deep cleaning procedure varies from patient to patient. In general, your gums will likely feel a bit tender or sore afterwards, and they may even bleed a little for a short time. Your teeth may also feel more sensitive for a time.

To combat these symptoms, over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, are helpful. Many dentists also recommend rinsing with salt water, which both soothes the tender tissue and keeps it clean. You should also brush and floss extra gently for a few days following a deep cleaning.

Why It’s Worth the Effort

When Gingivitis is not treated, it advances to Periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease which can destroy the bones and connective tissue that support your teeth, resulting in loose teeth that eventually have to be removed.
In addition to risking losing your teeth, research has shown that untreated periodontal disease can also be linked to blood sugar problems and heart disease, although scientists aren’t 100% sure that periodontal disease causes these problems, or if it’s the other way around. Either way, if you have Gingivitis, a deep cleaning is the first step to avoiding surgery and eventual loss of your teeth!