What is a deep teeth cleaning?
A dental deep cleaning, sometimes referred to as gum therapy, is a treatment that cleans between the gums and teeth down to the roots. Like a regular cleaning, the hygienist or dentist will clean the tooth, gum line and sides of the teeth. However, in a deep teeth cleaning, they continue to remove tartar buildup below the gum line to the root of the tooth. This process can also be referred to as a “scaling and root planing” and may require a few visits in order to complete the treatment. (This also may depend on what your insurance allows. Some carriers only allow 2 quadrants to be completed in one visit. Your dentist may have recommended 4 quadrants). It is more extensive than a standard cleaning and is designed to treat gum disease and to stop it from becoming worse.
What’s the difference between a deep teeth cleaning and a regular teeth cleaning?
Do I really need a deep teeth cleaning?
Only your dentist or dental hygienist can tell you for sure. If your visit to the dentist reveals significant pockets- those 4mm or greater, then you are at risk for (or in the stages of), periodontal disease. This makes you a candidate for the therapy (a deep teeth cleaning) and it is highly recommended if you want to stop and prevent the progression of the disease. Without treatment, the bacteria that created the pockets in your gums will continue to create plaque, tartar, and even bone loss.
If you are told you need a deep teeth cleaning, you’re not alone! According to the American Academy of Periodontology, nearly half of adult Americans suffer from gum disease. Still not convinced? More and more research has shown a direct link between the progression of gum disease and the development of more serious illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, dementia and more. So if your dentist or hygienist says you need a deep teeth cleaning, you owe it to your overall health to take care of it.
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