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Deep Cleaning for Gum Disease: An Essential Guide

Aside from tooth decay, gum disease is one of the major threats to a person’s overall dental health. Periodontal disease occurs more often than we would want think. Statistics show that 47.2% of adults who are 30 years and older have some form of gum disease.

One of the treatments that halt the progression of gum disease is deep cleaning. If this procedure is recommended to you, here’s a guide that will help you understand its purpose, how it’s done, and what you can expect before and after the treatment.

What is Deep Cleaning?

Deep cleaning is a procedure done to alleviate the swelling, inflammation, and bleeding due to plaque and tartar build-up along the gum lines and the roots of the teeth. Aside from easing the disorder, deep cleaning also helps prevent gum disease from becoming more severe.

Deep cleaning is a non-invasive and non-surgical procedure. It typically involves deep scaling and root planing. Deep scaling is the process of scraping the plaque below and above the gum lines. Meanwhile, root planing removes tartar and other bacteria that are on the pockets in the gum.

It is important to note that deep cleaning is not the same as prophylaxis or regular teeth cleaning. Deep cleaning, as its name suggests, is a more thorough way of cleaning the teeth in order to get rid of bacteria and tartar that leads to gum problems.

When is Deep Cleaning Needed?

Deep cleaning is typically recommended for individuals that have gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, or to address periodontal disease, which is a more serious gum infection where inflammation or infection of the gums and surrounding oral tissues occurs.

Typically, dentists advise deep cleaning when the depth of the space between your gums and teeth exceeds the normal level, which is 3mm. It is measured using a periodontal probe. Your dentist will also assess the plaque buildup on your gum lines and root area.

Gum disease results from bacterial plaque. When it builds up, it hardens and turns into a rough and porous substance called tartar. Tartar releases toxins that affect the gum fibers that are responsible for holding the teeth. As a result, periodontal pockets are formed and bacteria and toxins build up in them, which causes inflammation and infection. If it continues to go untreated, the situation can become more severe and may result to tooth loss.

How Do I Prepare before the Procedure?

Before anything else, you need to have a complete grasp of why the procedure needs to be performed on you. Discuss with your dentist the goal of the treatment and why it is the best course of action for your situation.

Prior to treatment, you need to practice proper oral hygiene, which involves regular brushing and flossing of your teeth. Depending on your condition, your dentist may prescribe using a specific type of mouthwash or medication to prevent bacteria from spreading to other parts of the body.

Is Deep Cleaning Painful?

Generally, deep cleaning is not expected to cause much discomfort because it is a noninvasive procedure. However, the level of pain you will feel while it is being done will all depend on your tolerance and the severity of your plaque build-up.

If the pockets are not too deep, you will feel little to no discomfort at all. However, you may feel the vibration, movement, or pressure as the scaling instruments probe around your teeth and remove plaque. On the other hand, if you have deeper pockets and more build-up, you may experience more discomfort, pain, and bleeding.

To alleviate discomfort and pain, dentists may apply a topical numbing solution on the area where the procedure will be performed or anesthesia may be administered intravenously.

Before the procedure, you can discuss pain management options with your dentist, so that it can be integrated on your treatment plan.

How is Deep Cleaning Done?

Deep cleaning is typically done with a combination of ultrasonic instruments and hand instruments.

Ultrasonic instruments are powered by electricity or air and it has a high-frequency vibrating motion that removes the plaque off. It also releases water that helps remove debris around the teeth and pockets. Meanwhile hand instruments are typically used in order to remove any residual deposits on the tooth.

Depending on the severity of your condition, deep cleaning may be performed in quadrants. If you only have gingivitis or a mild case of gum disease, the procedure may be done in one appointment. Meanwhile, if one quadrant has more build-up than the others, treatment may be scheduled on two or more meetings.

Certain medications may be prescribed alongside the procedure. These include antimicrobial mouth rinse, antibiotic gels and microspheres, antiseptic chips, enzyme suppressants, and oral drugs. However, there’s no proof that these medications can replace surgical treatment for more advanced cases of gum disease.

What Should I Expect after the Procedure?

After the procedure, you may experience discomfort, an increased sensitivity to temperature, and even bleeding. However, it’s important to note that they will gradually subside and are not expected to last long. If needed, painkillers may be prescribed to manage pain and discomfort.

More so, you may be advised to brush your teeth more gently following the procedure because gums are still tender at this point. Rinsing with saltwater or specific types of mouthwash may also be prescribed.

A follow-up appointment will also be scheduled. During this meeting, the dentist will check if the pockets have decreased in size. If there are pockets that are still 3mm deep or more, further treatment may be needed.

What are the Risks that Come with Deep Cleaning?

Although deep cleaning is a noninvasive procedure, it can still pose dangers to your health because it can introduce bacteria into the blood stream. To prevent this from happening, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics before and after the treatment.

Antibiotics are typically prescribed to patients that have heart problems, weak immune systems, artificial body parts, and who recently underwent a major surgery.

Before you agree to undergo deep cleaning, make sure that you and your dentist have assessed you risk for complications.

Proper Gum Maintenance

Proper gum maintenance is about keeping your oral health in check at all times—which requires practical steps that you can easily accomplish such as:

  • Daily tooth brushing and flossing
  • Avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking
  • Going to regular dental check-ups

Gum disease can pave the way for severe oral conditions. If deep scaling is recommended to you, there’s no need to be anxious because this procedure is done in order to prevent gum problems from progressing any further. Whether you’re about to undergo the treatment or recovering from it, you can use this guide to stay on track as you continue to take care of your teeth and gums.

Preventative Dental Care Woodland Hills, CA

Preventative Dental Care

At Woodland Hills Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we provide preventative dental care for patients throughout the 91364 area and invite you to schedule a dental exam today. We know that if you have your teeth cleaned on a regular basis, you can decrease your risk of getting cavities or experiencing gum disease. Overall, taking the time to have your teeth cleaned can prevent general discomfort and even tooth loss. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, now is the time to schedule an exam so that you can prevent many common oral health issues that can negative impact your quality of life. We are experts at preventative dental care and will ensure that your appointment is a positive one and that you remain comfortable during your dental exam and treatments.

The Facts

We practice preventative dental care and are regularly asked why it is so important. Virtually everyone is at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay is so common that it is the number one infectious disease among children in the United States. Additionally, according to the NIH, 92 percent of adults ages 20 to 64, have had a cavity. With odds like these, the reason for having your teeth cleaned become fairly clear. Simultaneously, we know that there is a direct link between visiting the dentist regularly and maintaining your adult teeth as you age. A Gallup study found that in states like Connecticut, where 74 percent of the adult population visits the dentist regularly, complete adult tooth loss is very low – 10 percent. However, in states where people don’t visit the dentist regularly, like West Virginia, complete tooth loss is incredibly high (up to 37 percent). The facts paint a bleak picture for those that don’t visit the dentist on a regular basis. However, the good news is that you can prevent cavities and tooth loss by simply scheduling preventative dental care appointments. To get started call our office at (818) 225-9410 . Our friendly team will be happy to schedule an appointment for a time that works with your job and family schedule so that you can receive the care that you need.-


It’s Your Time

According to the Center for Disease Control, around 164 million work hours are missed every single year due to dental issues. If you don’t have time for the dentist, this should be cause for concern. Not taking an hour to have your teeth cleaned can cause you to become part of that statistic. If you have a demanding job or a busy life with the kids, you don’t have time to be preoccupied with a dental emergency or severe toothache. The only way to prevent one, however, is to brush and floss at home and to visit our office for preventative dental care. A regular dental exam and teeth cleaning takes an hour or less so you can complete it on your lunch break. At Woodland Hills Dentistry, we will work within your schedule, making it easy for people throughout the 91364 area to schedule a dental appointment. We encourage you to take the time now so that you don’t have to spend more time dealing with an emergency later on.




Preventative Dental Care Can Save You Money

In addition to helping you avoid a nasty toothache and saving you time, preventative dental care can also save you money. At Woodland Hills Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we can treat your tooth decay or infected tooth, regardless of how minor or severe the problem is. We prefer, however, to identify the problem quickly and before it has the chance to spread and cause you a great deal of discomfort. It is also important to note that if you have a small cavity, all that you will likely need is for the decayed portion to be removed. A filling can then restore the missing tooth structure. While the cost of every procedure depends on the extent of the work being done, a good rule of thumb is that a filling will cost around a third of what a crown will cost. If you are looking to save money, catching a cavity early, when all that’s needed is a filling, will provide a significant savings. Unfortunately, those that don’t receive regular dental care often wait until the discomfort is so severe that they can’t stand it any longer. By this point, the decay or infection is likely to be so severe that a crown will be necessary. Given the higher cost, you could have three fillings for the price of one crown. Therefore, preventative dental care makes financial sense.

Deep Cleaning Can Prevent Tooth Loss

Another way that preventative dental care can save you money is in the realm of tooth loss. A leading causes of tooth loss among adults is gum disease. If plaque and bacteria are left on your gums and teeth, it can become trapped underneath the gum tissue. This can cause them to swell and bleed. During regular dental appointments, we can identify early signs of gum disease and perform a deep cleaning if necessary. Once the plaque and bacteria have been removed, your gums should return to good health. However, if gum disease is left untreated, your gums can start to recede, and pockets can be created in the gum tissue. This will expose your teeth to attack, bone, and tooth loss. At that point, you will be forced to either live with a missing tooth or replace it using dentures, a dental bridge or a dental implant. All of these solutions are effective and can restore your smile. They will, however, cost you significantly more money than what you would spend on a simple teeth cleaning and dental exam. The cost comparison is truly no comparison at all. If you are budget conscious, having your teeth regularly cleaned should, therefore, be a top priority. At Woodland Hills Family Dentistry, we can work with you to create a plan for preventative dental care and address any current health issues that you have so that your dental work is affordable. If you live in the 91364 area, don’t delay in scheduling your dental exam. Call (818) 225-9410 today.

Woodland Hills Cosmetic, Implant, Specialty and General Dentistry

Specialized in crowns, teeth whitening, invisalign, porcelain veneers and dental implants. Call (818) 225-9410 for $59.00 XRay, Exam, Cleaning. We are currently accepting new patients, and all in network PPO insurance accepted. In House Discount Plan available for patients with no insurance. Please see at the end of this article for special offers.

Woodland Hills Dentistry Special Offers:

  1. $ 59 Dental Exam, X-Ray and Cleaning.*
  • 15% off Initial Treatment and a Free Sheer White Take Home Bleaching Kit after Completion of Initial Treatment.
  • New patients only. $399 value. Limit one per patient. Not valid with other offers or for price service. No cash value. Cleaning is a regular cleaning and in the absence of periodontal disease. Teeth Whitening is a kit.
  1. High Quality Porcelain Veneers in Woodland Hills $699 Each (4 or More Teeth; $799 Each for 1-3 Teeth)*.
  • Free Initial Consultation.
  1. Free Cosmetic Dentistry Consult In Woodland Hills: Includes Exam and X-Rays*
  2. Free Dental Emergency Consult in Woodland Hills: Includes Exam and X-Rays*
  3. Free Invisalign Consult in Woodland Hills: Includes Exam and X-Rays*
  4. Free Dental Implant Consult in Woodland Hills: Includes Exam and X-Rays*
  • *Not to be used with any insurance. A $35 fee will be charged to transfer X-Rays).