What Are the Disadvantages of Deep Cleaning Teeth?
You may be told by your dentist that you need dental deep cleaning. It does have some disadvantages, including losing a filling, or suffering permanent damage to the gums. If the cleaning isn’t complete, you could also develop an abscess in your gums.
Disadvantages of deep cleaning teeth
Not everyone needs a dental deep cleaning. Many times the regular teeth cleaning you get at the dentist’s office will be enough to get the tartar buildup removed and keep your gums healthy. But, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should see your dentist right away:
- Constant bad breath not caused by a particular food
- Red, inflamed gums
- Bleeding gums
- Your teeth appear longer due to the gums receding
- Loose teeth or even lost teeth not due to trauma
- Pain when eating or drinking
So what might go wrong with a dental deep cleaning? Some disadvantages of deep cleaning teeth include:
- If you have a gum line filling, it may get dislodged
- Your gums might get irritated or never reattach to the teeth
- Your dentist might not get out all the tartar or bacteria and you end up with an abscess in your jaw
- Your nerves might get jangled and you end up with persistent dental sensitivity
Why do you need a deep cleaning?
A dental deep cleaning is when your dentist or a periodontist does a scaling and root planing treatment on your teeth. It helps treat gum disease that results from plaque and tartar buildup. You get plaque every day from eating and drinking. That is why brushing and flossing is so important to your overall oral health. If you don’t get plaque removed from your teeth, you allow the bacteria to grow and form tartar, and that can lead to inflammation.
That inflammation known as gingivitis can damage the gums and cause them to pull away from your teeth. Left untreated, you can even suffer tooth loss or even bone loss. This is called periodontitis, or if you have lost teeth because the ligaments are damaged, you have advanced periodontitis.
A dental deep cleaning will remove plaque and tartar and leave your gums cleaner and healthier.
If you take certain medications like decongestants or anti-anxiety medication, or if you are pregnant or going through menopause, be sure to talk to your dentist. All of these situations can lead to dry mouth that can give the bacteria a chance to hang out longer in your mouth instead of being rinsed away by your saliva.
What happens during a dental deep cleaning?
A dental deep cleaning is a type of dental cleaning done at either a dentist’s office or a specialist’s. Your dentist or dental hygienist will get all the plaque and tartar off your teeth both above the gum line and below it, getting into all those pockets that have formed. This is called scaling. Then the root planing part takes place which is when the roots are treated by roughing up the surface and then they are cleaned so that your gums can heal and reattach themselves.
This can be somewhat painful, so you may be given a local anesthetic or a light gas, if you have chosen sleep dentistry. Your dentist may also use a topical anesthetic to numb the gums so you don’t feel anything.
It may also take a couple of visits to complete removing tartar, depending on how much needs to be done. When all is clean, your dentist may give you some antibiotics to take, or he or she may inject an antibiotic into the tooth pockets.
What can I do when I get home?
You may find that your teeth and gums are a little sore after your deep cleaning teeth treatment. This should resolve in a day or two. Your teeth may be sensitive to pressure or temperature for a week or so, and your gums may be swollen or even bleed for a while. This is all normal. If you experience pain for longer than a week, or you see that your gums continue to bleed, these are abnormal side effects and you should call your dentist right away.
Your dentist may have also sent you home with a dental rinse to use for a while. Be sure to use this, as it will help keep things cleaned out while your gums are healing.
You will likely need to come in for another visit in a few months post-treatment so that your dentist can check to see how well your gums are healing and whether the infection has resolved. If he or she sees that your gums still have those pockets leaving periodontal diseases in place, there may be another treatment he needs to do, or you may be referred to an oral surgeon for a more significant procedure called pocket reduction surgery.
At home, you will want to brush your teeth gently twice a day with a soft manual toothbrush, and floss or use interdental tools at least once a day to keep your gum and teeth healthy. You should also:
- Eat a good diet low in sugar and acid
- Eat soft foods for the first few days after treatment, like yogurt, applesauce, soup, or mashed potatoes
- Avoid really hot or really cold foods and drinks for a few days
- Stop smoking or using chewing tobacco
- Rinse with warm salt water for a few days after treatment
- Take over the counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if you experience pain
- Keep up your regular dentist visits for professional cleanings and checkups
Can my insurance pay for it?
The answer to the question ‘will my insurance pay for deep cleaning teeth’ is – maybe. Check with your carrier or your company benefits department to see what kind of coverage you have.
The key to good oral hygiene is to brush and floss daily. This is why your dentist reminds you of that at every visit. It’s not just for your teeth; it’s for your gums as well. By practicing good oral care at home, you can avoid needing to have a deep cleaning teeth procedure done. The process is rather invasive, and you can run into some disadvantages of deep cleaning teeth. But, if you do need to have the procedure done because of gingivitis and periodontitis, you should ask your dentist about what advantages you gain, what you should know about the process, and what you should do at home to take good care of your teeth and gums going forward.
IVANOV Orthodontic Experts, 12866 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL 33181
Call us at (786) 540-1919 to schedule a free orthodontic exam.