Good oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining excellent oral and overall health. Besides daily brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy, beautiful, and fully functional.
If you have gum disease, gum recession, or significant plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth, your dentist can recommend a deep cleaning called dental scaling and root planing. Deep cleaning goes beyond regular professional dental cleanings and helps manage and prevent gum disease progression.
This article discusses what to expect during deep cleaning, the difference between regular and deep cleaning, and recovery tips after deep cleaning.
What to Expect During Deep Cleaning: A Step-By-Step Guide
Deep cleaning is an outpatient procedure and involves two processes: root planing and dental scaling. Below is a typical procedure of what to expect:
- Evaluation: Before the cleaning, the dentist will comprehensively assess your teeth, gums, and mouth to determine whether a deep cleaning is necessary.
- Local anesthesia: Our dentist in North Austin, TX, will inject a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort.
- Dental scaling: The first step of deep cleaning is dental cleaning. The dentist uses specialized dental instruments like manual or ultrasonic scalers to gently scrub off bacterial plaque, tartar, bacteria, and debris from the teeth and around the gum line.
- Root planing: After dental scaling, the dentist will perform root planing. It involves smoothening rough areas on the teeth roots to prevent bacterial and debris accumulation and promote the re-attachment of the gum tissues to the teeth.
- Antibacterial rinse or injections: The dentist can inject antibiotics or apply antibacterial rinses to reduce the bacterial load and promote faster healing.
- Aftercare: After deep cleaning, the dentist will give specific aftercare instructions for speedy healing and recovery. Follow-up appointments may be necessary to monitor the healing and health of your gums.
Deep Cleaning Vs. Regular Cleaning: What's the Difference?
Regular dental cleanings are often performed every six months. They focus on removing plaque, bacteria, and tartar on the teeth and around the gums. If not removed, bacterial plaque and tartar release acids that irritate the gums, causing inflammation and infections. Regular cleanings help eliminate these deposits to maintain healthy gums and prevent gum infections. Since the procedure isn't invasive, anesthesia is not always necessary.
Deep cleaning is a more invasive procedure requiring anesthesia to prevent discomfort. It focuses on removing bacterial plaque and tartar on the teeth surfaces and above and below the gum line to the teeth roots. The cleaning helps stop the progression of gum disease or recession and allows gums to heal and attach to the teeth normally.
Tips for Recovery and Maintenance after a Deep Cleaning Treatment
After deep cleaning, use the following tips to promote faster healing and recovery:
- Follow your dentist's instructions. Your hygienist will give you specific post-care instructions that you must follow strictly to ensure proper healing and prevent complications. These instructions can regard diet, oral hygiene, and medications.
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene. Proper oral hygiene is crucial to prevent new infections in the gums. Brush twice daily. If possible, get a soft-bristled electric toothbrush and use fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, floss daily to remove plaque and tartar buildup between teeth, which can encourage new infections. Also, consider an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce bacterial activity in the mouth. Be gentle with your gums, and avoid vigorous brushing and flossing.
- Avoid tobacco. Smoking can hinder gum healing and increase the risk of developing or worsening periodontal disease. If you smoke, quitting or minimizing for long-term gum healing and overall well-being is essential.
- Watch your diet. Avoid sugary, spicy, and acidic foods and drinks, as they can irritate your gums and promote bacterial infections. Since your gums may be sore and sensitive after deep cleaning, take cool and soft foods like soups and pudding. After healing, maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrient-rich foods and beverages like whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, water, and soups.
- Attend regular check-ups. Regular appointments are essential for monitoring the progress of your gum healing and overall oral health. The dentist will also perform dental cleanings or periodontal maintenance if necessary.
Visit our dentist office near you for Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning removes bacterial infections and promotes healthy gums and mouth. For more information about deep cleaning, Peak Dental - North Austin book your appointment today.