If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, even in its most advanced stages, there is still hope. Deep cleaning, also known as root scraping and smoothing, is a procedure used to remove infected areas of the gum line that have been caused by neglecting routine brushing and flossing. Plaque will build up below the gum line and calcify into tartar, which cannot be removed by regular brushing and flossing. This allows bacteria to build up and cause an infection that leads to painful inflammation of the gums.
If left untreated, the infection will develop into periodontitis, where gum tissue and bone begin to weaken and deteriorate. Fortunately, deep cleaning can reverse the effects of periodontal disease. During this procedure, your dentist will use hand tools and ultrasonic vibrations to remove plaque from your teeth and pockets that form inside your gums. The dentist can then smooth the roots of the teeth to ensure that the gums are brought back together after the procedure.
Depending on the severity of the gum disease, this may require one or more visits. Periodontal maintenance (deep cleaning) is very similar to regular cleanings, but it has its differences. You'll likely need these appointments more frequently; you'll have to come back every three or four months. It's important to understand the difference between dental cleaning and deep cleaning.
In a regular dental cleaning, the hygienist can focus on cleaning the teeth on the outer surfaces and between the teeth above the gum line. Be sure to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and to monitor the health of your teeth and gums. If your dentist notices plaque buildup, inflammation in the gums, or deep pockets in the gum tissue around the teeth, he will probably recommend that you have a deep cleaning. This procedure can help repair any damage caused by periodontitis and restore your oral health.