I have had my teeth cleaned before. They scrape the tartar off of my teeth and polish them up. Then I’m on my way. So what is the point of a deep cleaning?

A fair question and one that I get in some fashion or another.

The fundamental difference lies in WHY the cleaning is being done. A traditional every six month or so cleaning is meant as a prevention for gingivitis and periodontist (gum disease). The deep cleaning is a treatment of active gum disease.

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The first line of treatment for periodontal disease is the deep cleaning (also known as a scaling). This is because one of the primary factors causing periodontal disease is the tartar stuck on the teeth often under the gums.

I often liken tartar to a splinter left in your hand too long. After awhile you will notice that the area around the splinter is getting red and maybe even swelling. If you leave it in long enough you will likely see infection set in.

Your body is reacting to the foreign object and trying to get rid of it. In the mouth the body also reacts to the tartar in somewhat similar ways. Swollen and tender gums that bleed easily which ultimately can lead to the loss of the bone around the teeth. Left long enough you’ll lose your teeth along with the bone.

The deep cleaning is designed to, as comfortably as possible, remove the tartar around the teeth and below the gum line.

Within days or weeks of the deep cleaning in most cases we see a great improvement in the health of the gums. It’s not the be all end all of gum disease treatment, but it’s often the starting point.

The best idea though is to come in for regular cleanings and keep any tartar and gum disease to a minimum for your life. Call us today to come in for your next check up. (708) 576-1900.

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