What Is a Deep Cleaning?

If you’ve been told you need a deep cleaning, also known as “scaling and root planing,” it’s important to understand what this procedure is and why it is absolutely vital to your dental and overall health to get it done — if you need it.

A type of gum puffiness, redness or bleeding means that your gums aren’t completely attached to your teeth. These areas that aren’t attached are called pockets and once they develop they provide an opening for bacteria to get under the gum line. Once it gets in there, it festers. Even if your gums reattach at the surface, if bacteria is trapped inside, it gets to work on your bone.

With a deep cleaning you get all of that trapped bacteria, plaque and calcification cleaned out. The result is your gum tissue can reattach to the bone. A deep cleaning, when necessary, is one of the most therapeutic health treatments you can get. Good gum health is a foundation of good overall health.

Here’s an example of how vital healthy gums are: a fellow in his mid forties came into the office with very puffy, swollen gums that bled when he brushed his teeth. Many of his teeth were loose and shifting. As you can imagine, his poor hygiene had led to other dental problems. He requested to have all of his teeth extracted and replaced with dental implants and crowns. Instead, I advised him to get a thorough deep cleaning. His own teeth could not thrive with unhealthy gums, and dental implants would not last either.

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