What is a Deep Cleaning and Why Would I Need One?

You may be surprised to know that 42% of adults in this country suffer from gum disease or periodontitis. What's more, periodontitis is among the leading causes of tooth loss. Even more surprising, gum disease and periodontitis are largely preventable, especially when caught and treated in their earliest stages. Twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and bi-annual cleanings are essential components of preventive oral hygiene. However, that isn’t always enough. When gum disease develops, it’s time to bring out the big guns in the form of a professional deep cleaning


To understand what a deep cleaning entails, the team at Spectrum Dental Care, located in Norcross, GA, and led by Ifeanyi Ezunu, DDS, offers the following primer.

It starts with bacteria buildup

Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime. But when gum disease develops, it places your pearly whites in jeopardy.  

Gum disease starts with a buildup of bacteria in plaque and causes mild inflammation in your gums. This initial stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, and regular professional cleanings are usually sufficient to remedy the problem.

However, left untreated, your gingivitis can quickly turn into periodontitis, which causes your gums to pull away from your teeth. This creates pockets where more damaging bacteria can seep in and wreak havoc.

As the periodontitis progresses, it can damage your bone, leading to loose teeth that may eventually fall out altogether.

A deep dive

If your gum disease has advanced to periodontitis, we turn to a deep cleaning which, as the name suggests, is a procedure in which we thoroughly clean out the plaque from underneath your gums.

Deep cleaning requires the use of special ultrasonic instruments or manual tools to successfully remove all of the bacteria-harboring matter.

Once your teeth are cleaned, we take the cleaning a step further by performing a preventive procedure designed to help prevent future problems with gum disease. This is called root planing. It involves the use of a scaling instrument to smooth out the planes of your roots in order to encourage your gums to reattach snugly to your teeth. This prevents bacteria from creeping back in down the road.

In cases where gum disease is pervasive, treatment may require two visits. You may experience some minor discomfort afterward, which should easily be managed with over-the-counter medications. Given the absence of bacteria, your gums will heal quickly.

Preventing a return

After your deep cleaning, you will be given instructions for maintaining your dental health. You already know the drill: Brush twice a day, floss, rinse and keep up with your regular hygiene visits. For deep cleaning treatment and all of your oral healthcare needs, call or request an appointment online with Spectrum Dental Care.

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