San Luis Obispo Dentist

Deep Teeth CleaningSan Luis Obispo, CA

Also known as gum therapy, deep teeth cleaning is a dental treatment that removes plaque, bacteria, and tartar from teeth and their roots. It is a more thorough process than a standard dental cleaning – which only involves removing tartar and plaque from the crowns of teeth. Dr. Sayre-Carstairs may recommend a deep teeth cleaning to treat advanced stages of conditions or other oral health issues that a standard cleaning cannot treat.

During deep teeth cleaning, we will go underneath the gums and remove any tartar buildup there. The process is also called root planing and scaling. Deep cleanings commonly treat gum disease and prevent certain conditions from getting worse.

Call us at 805-952-1147 to schedule an appointment and learn if a deep teeth cleaning is the treatment you need.

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Why You Might Need A Deep Teeth Cleaning

The mouth is full of plaque, food particles, and bacteria. The combination of these things eats away at teeth and their roots. Plaque left on teeth surfaces eventually hardens and turns into tartar. A standard dental cleaning removes tartar buildup on teeth, which most people receive at least two times a year. Most plaque buildup occurs where the gums and teeth meet.

Plaque can get pushed below the gum line, where it triggers an immune system response as antibodies battle against the bacteria in plaque. This leads to damage to bone and tissue structures that hold teeth in place. The condition is called gum disease, often leading to receding gums as it proceeds. A dentist might recommend a deep cleaning if the patient has not gotten a regular cleaning in a while, or they are already displaying symptoms of gum disease.

Benefits of Deep Teeth Cleaning

The benefits of removing plaque, tartar, and bacteria from teeth surfaces, roots, and gum pockets include:

  • Helps to prevent oral diseases: Deep cleanings have other uses besides treating gum disease. The procedure also helps to protect teeth from other oral issues like tooth decay. Removing tartar and plaque also reduces the risk of teeth or gum tissues becoming infected
  • Prevents the breakdown of bone and tissue structures: Bacteria and tartar getting beneath the gums lead to the hard and soft structures that hold teeth in place breaking down. As a result, the patient’s teeth might become loose or, even worse, fall out
  • Improved oral health: Periodic deep cleanings should be part of everyone’s oral health routine along with brushing twice a day, flossing daily, using proper brushing techniques, using antibacterial mouth rinses, avoiding sugary foods and not smoking

The Process

Dr. Sayre-Carstairs is a periodontist who can help determine the most effective treatment for the patient's needs. For example, we might use a tool called a probe to measure the depth of a patient's gum pockets. The deeper these pockets are, the more likely the patient has an infection in their gum tissues. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends having the gum pockets evaluated once a year to detect gum disease in its early stages. Healthy gum pockets should be no more than three millimeters deep. Anything over five millimeters will likely prompt the dentist to recommend deep teeth cleaning.

Diagnostic tests like X-rays can also evaluate the depth of a patient's gum pockets. The process of deep cleaning a patient's teeth may involve manual scaling tools, lasers, or ultrasonic instruments. The scaling part of the treatment involves the dentist using one of these tools to remove tartar, plaque, and bacteria. The planing part of the treatment includes the dentist smoothing out teeth roots.

This makes it easier for gum tissues to adhere to the roots while making it more difficult for bacteria and tartar to cling to them. After the process, we may schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor the patient's recovery.

Recovery and Aftercare

Patients might experience some pain and discomfort for the first few days after getting root planing and scaling. The patient may experience tender or swollen gums that bleed from time to time. This can last a few days after the procedure. However, the symptoms tend to be minor and will diminish over the first few days after the cleaning.

The patient might also experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods/beverages for up to 7 days after their treatment. The dentist might prescribe pain killers, antibiotics, or a mouth rinse to help with the healing process. The dentist might also put medication into the patient's gum pockets after the cleaning.

Call Us Today

With a deep teeth cleaning, we can help keep your teeth, gums, and mouth health. Call us at 805-952-1147 to schedule an appointment and learn if a deep teeth cleaning at Coast Periodontics and Laser Surgery is the treatment you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are deep cleanings painful?

Patients do not feel pain during deep cleanings since a local anesthetic is used before the dentist starts cleaning underneath the gums. The patient might experience some soreness afterward for a few days. A routine cleaning does not require the use of an anesthetic since it does not cause pain.

How long is recovery after deep teeth cleaning?

Most patients fully recover from their deep cleaning within two to three weeks. At that point, they should be able to eat like they normally would. Dentists recommend not brushing or aggravating the gums during the recovery period. A saltwater rinse can help clean the mouth after meals.

Will I have to take antibiotics after deep cleaning?

It depends on how severe the infection under the patient's gums is. During root scaling and planing, the periodontist will typically insert antibiotics into the gum pockets. If the patient has a high risk of infection, oral antibiotics might be prescribed as well.

Will deep teeth cleaning improve the color of my teeth?

The deep cleaning can help remove some of the stains since tartar gives teeth a yellow color, and that goes away after teeth are cleaned. Tartar is more prone to staining than teeth, so what often looks like stains on teeth are stains that have formed on tartar deposits. However, patients will need to consider other procedures to see much more noticeable changes in the shade of their teeth enamel.

Which foods should I avoid after deep cleaning?

Dentists recommend staying away from hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy foods until your gums have fully healed. Stick to soft and liquid foods like soups and pasta. We can go over foods that are easy to eat following a deep teeth cleaning, at our practice.

Contact Us

Coast Periodontics and Laser Surgery is located at
620 California Blvd Suite L
San Luis Obispo, CA
93401

(805) 952-1147