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.