What is a Deep Cleaning and How do I Know if I Need One?

The numbers surrounding the prevalence of gum disease in the United States are eye-opening: a little more than 47% of adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease and this number jumps to more than 70% of adults over the age of 65. Now, add to this the fact that more than 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and 40 million are missing all of their teeth — and you realize that gum disease has some serious consequences.

At Core Smiles, our team of dental experts believes that prevention and early intervention are key when it comes to managing your dental health, especially when it comes to your gums. Luckily, reversing gum disease in its earlier stages is relatively simple — all it takes is a dental cleaning.

Here’s a look at why you may need a deep cleaning and what this treatment entails.

A brief look at gum disease

Periodontal disease is a condition in which harmful bacteria get up under your gum line and slowly erode the hard and soft tissues. There are many stages of gum disease, which usually starts out as gingivitis. In this early stage of the problem, you may have mild inflammation in your gums as bacteria attempt to breach the seal your gums create over your teeth.

To tackle gingivitis, a good dental cleaning is often enough to clear away the bacteria-harboring plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth.

If the gum disease progresses, the bacteria breach your gums and begin to wreak havoc underneath. The bacteria create pockets where your gums pull away from your teeth, and it’s nearly impossible to reach these pockets through regular brushing and flossing.

The bacteria go to work and eventually begin to destroy your gums, the connective tissues, and the hard tissues of your teeth, causing your teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.

Intervening with a deep clean

As we mentioned, for mild cases of gingivitis, your twice-annual cleaning with us is usually sufficient for halting the progression of gum disease. If we find that bacteria have set up shop underneath your gums, that’s when we need to turn to deep cleaning.

During a deep cleaning, we perform a root planing and scaling procedure in which we clear away plaque and tartar from your roots, and then we smooth the surfaces of your roots so that your gums can re-form their protective seal over your teeth.

To ensure your comfort, we can administer a local anesthetic before your deep cleaning. Afterward, you’re free to get back to your day, though you may experience some mild soreness, which typically resolves itself quickly as your gums heal.

But these minor inconveniences are well worth the cost as a deep cleaning can save you from far more aggressive procedures if your gum disease advances unchecked.

If you’d like to stay one step ahead of your gum health through a deep cleaning, please contact our New York City office in the NoMad area of Manhattan, to set up an appointment.







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