Is a “Deep Cleaning” Necessary?

Deep Clean

I was told I need a “deep cleaning” by my dentist. Is this necessary?

When someone is told they need a “deep cleaning,” they are referring to treatment of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease starts out as just inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria, plaque and the hardened plaque, called tartar, leading to gingivitis.

When it is not treated at this stage, it creates more gum inflammation and bone loss leading to periodontal disease.

The toxins released by the bacteria break down the gum attachment leading to deeper pocketing around the teeth and eventually bone loss. At this stage, no tooth brushing, flossing or simple cleaning will treat the disease. It takes a skilled hygienist using instruments to scale off the debris from the tooth and irrigate the bacteria and toxins out of the deeper pockets for healing to occur. Once complete, the gum can attach back to the tooth and inflammation will resolve. This has to occur with good home care including brushing, flossing, soft picking and water picking.

The earlier the disease is caught and treated, the better the long-term prognosis. Therefore, getting the “deep cleaning” done when it is needed is the best option to decrease the risk of losing your teeth due to bone loss in the future.

About the author

Stacey Sparkman Hall, D.D.S.

Dr. Stacey Hall brings her unique outlook on dental care and her personable optimism to the Williamsburg Center for Dental Health. With nine years of solid dental expertise as a dentist in Williamsburg, she decided in early 2011 to branch out and open her own local practice. After completing her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 1998, Dr. Hall graduated from VCU’s MCV School of Dentistry in 2002, receiving her D.D.S. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and was awarded member fellowship to the International Congress of Oral Implantology in 2008. She leads the elite Tidewater Dawson Study Club and is a scholar with the interntaionally renowned Dawson Academy. As a Dawson ambassador, Dr. Hall also assists in the training of students in the Dawson Academy. Stacey and her husband Michael have been blessed with three beautiful girls, Lanie, Gracie and Abbie. She is a loyal Virginia Tech Football fan, and enjoys Bible study and missions work.

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