What is Deep Teeth Cleaning and When is it Necessary?

Deep teeth cleaning is a dental procedure that goes beyond regular cleaning of teeth. Learn what it is & when it's necessary for preventing gum disease & tooth loss.

What is Deep Teeth Cleaning and When is it Necessary?

Deep teeth cleaning is a dental procedure that goes beyond the regular cleaning of the teeth. It is necessary when tartar or stones build up on the roots of the teeth, causing inflammation (swelling) of the bone around the teeth, gum pain, bone loss, and eventually tooth loss. A deep dental cleaning procedure consists of two parts: gum or periodontal scraping and root smoothing. A deep dental cleaning, also known as gum therapy, is a treatment that cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots. The hygienist or dentist will clean the tooth, the gumline, and the sides of the teeth.

However, in a thorough dental cleaning, they continue to remove the buildup of tartar below the gum line to the root of the tooth. This process is also known as “root scraping and smoothing” and may require a few visits to complete. Deep dental cleaning allows the dentist to penetrate under the gums and eliminate harmful bacteria. The gums can then be reattached to the teeth with healthy tissue. A deep dental cleaning is necessary when there is a significant amount of bacteria and tartar accumulation on the surface of the teeth.

Once pockets form due to gum disease, bacteria and tartar begin to fill them. If not removed, periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss can result. The main purpose of regular dental cleanings is to remove plaque and calculus that build up around and slightly below the gum line. Deep teeth cleaning is a relatively low-risk procedure, especially when performed by an experienced dentist or dental hygienist. Root smoothing is the second part of the deep dental cleaning process and involves smoothing and cleaning the roots of the teeth. While many believe that regular dental cleanings and deep cleanings are the same thing, there are some significant differences between them.

Regular cleanings are preventive maintenance while deep dental cleanings are designed to stop the progression of gum disease. If plaque is not removed with a brush, it hardens and turns into tartar, which can only be eradicated with professional dental cleaning. Deep tooth cleaning is actually a procedure performed by a dentist or dental hygienist, not something you do yourself. If bacteria invade below the gum line, you'll need a thorough dental cleaning to restore gum health. In general, if bags are deeper than can be treated with standard cleaning and good home care, you'll need a deep cleaning to eliminate the infection and promote healing.