What is deep cleaning when visiting the dentist?

Have you ever noticed bleeding when brushing or cleaning between your teeth? Swollen and bleeding gums are early signs that your gums are inflamed and there is an infection. A healthy mouth has gums that are light pink in color and fit firmly around each tooth. There is no bleeding when you brush or clean between your teeth.

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Inflamed gums (gingivitis) are often red, swollen, bleed, and are tender. If left untreated, gingivitis may progress. Periodontitis occurs when there is loss of bone that supports the teeth. This will put you at a greater risk for tooth loss.


The disease starts with a sticky film called dental plaque that forms on your teeth, especially along the gumline and between the teeth. When plaque accumulates in these areas it causes gum inflammation leading to gum disease.

Visiting the Dentist

If the disease is not caught early, the pockets between your gums and teeth get deeper (see picture above). At this point you need scaling and root planning, or a deep cleaning. The plaque and tarter cannot be removed with daily homecare, because it is too deep. Your dental professional will remove everything down to the bottom of the pocket during your dental visit(s).

After Care Tips

You may have pain for a day or two and teeth sensitivity for up to a week. Your gums may be tender. Your dentist will then schedule a follow-up visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of our pockets to determine your healing. Good oral homecare is essential to maintain a healthy mouth.

Read more: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/scaling-and-root-planing

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