Many people underestimate the seriousness of maintaining good oral hygiene. In 2016, the Global Burden of Disease Study estimated that 3.58 billion people worldwide were affected by oral diseases. Most of these conditions are preventable by simply flossing and brushing at least once a day. Keeping your teeth clean by getting a professional cleaning is another way to avoid oral diseases. A regular cleaning is often enough, but sometimes a deep teeth cleaning is necessary.
Regular teeth cleaning is the typical yearly tooth cleaning that most dentists recommend. This helps maintain healthy gums and teeth. A healthy mouth has a small amount of space that separates the teeth and the gums. This space between the teeth and gums is where plaque and bacteria tend to accumulate. Regular cleaning is for situations in which there is little to no accumulation of plaque.
Daily flossing and brushing causes less build-up of plaque and bacteria. And when a person flosses daily, brushes regularly and gets a yearly cleaning, it’s often enough to maintain good oral health.
Deep Teeth Cleaning
Deep teeth cleaning is recommended when the accumulation of tartar and bacteria is excessive. Some people have a larger amount of space between their teeth and gums. This space is called a dental pocket. Normally, it forms when bacteria in the mouth builds up and forms a film of plaque around the teeth. When the build-up of plaque isn’t removed soon enough, it continues to harden and becomes tartar. Tartar build-up makes it more difficult to remove new bacteria and plaque. If not removed, oral disease or tooth loss can occur.
A dental pocket will sometimes develop when a person doesn’t regularly brush and floss. It can also develop when a person doesn’t get regular teeth cleanings. However, it’s possible that some other causes can lead to dental pockets. No matter the cause, it’s important to get a deep cleaning to remove the tartar and bacteria from the pocket.
Unlike with regular cleaning, deep cleaning requires root planing. Root planing is a simple procedure in which the dentist smoothes the roots of your teeth. The purpose is to help your gums reattach to the teeth. This will improve your oral health and hopefully prevent any further complications. And of course, flossing and brushing daily will help maintain the results of the deep cleaning.
Determining the Type of Cleaning
Your dentist will perform an exam to determine the space between your gums and teeth. This exam will consist of the dentist taking gum measurements. The lower the numbers, the less likely deep cleaning is needed. Higher numbers mean there’s a greater deal of space between your teeth and gums.
After measurements are taken, the dentist determines which type of cleaning is best. If you haven’t had your teeth cleaned in years, you might need a deep cleaning. Or if you have poor oral health in general, you might benefit from deep teeth cleaning. Regular teeth cleaning is recommended if you have minimal space between your teeth and gums. This will prevent plaque, bacteria, and tartar from becoming a problem.
Pros and Cons of Teeth Cleaning
There aren’t many cons associated with getting your teeth cleaned. You may experience sore, irritated gums for a short time after the cleaning. But this should pass relatively quickly. And if you have poor oral hygiene, you may experience bleeding gums during your cleaning. Some people report having a sore jaw from having to hold their mouth open, but that’s a temporary annoyance as well.
The pros of having your teeth cleaned outweigh the cons. Without good oral hygiene, you run the risk of losing your natural teeth. Preventing oral diseases is worth the slight discomfort you might feel from getting your teeth cleaned.