By: Dr. Christopher Lim
Posted on: August 9, 2019
A beautiful and healthy smile is dependent upon healthy gums. If your gums are not healthy due to gum disease, your gums may begin to bleed, and even recede. If the condition is severe enough, the dentist will recommend a deep cleaning.
Receding gums have begun to pull away from the teeth and roots, allowing bacteria and tartar to build up on the roots. Deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is used to smooth out the tooth surfaces so the gums can adhere again to the roots and become healthy again. This differs from a normal semi-annual dental cleaning. The cleaning the dental hygienist performs is for regular maintenance, while a scaling and planing is to prevent gum disease such as gingivitis from progressing.
Scaling is the process in which the dentist will remove the tartar above and below the gum line. Root planing smooths out the rough surfaces on the roots. This is a nonsurgical procedure; however, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to ensure patient comfort. Sometimes an ultrasonic tool is used for the cleaning. The tool is less irritating than the standard scraping tool, but it might not be required for all cleanings. The dentist may also place antibiotic fibers in the spaces between gums and teeth to speed healing. The fibers will be removed about a week after the cleaning. Deep cleaning causes very little to no discomfort.
It is very important to maintain good dental hygiene after scaling and planing to ensure proper healing and prevent further problems. The dentist or hygienist will be able to demonstrate correct dental care techniques upon request. Once healed, the gums will be firm and pink again.
If you have concerns about your smile and the health of your gums, consult your dentist. Dr. Lim and the experienced professionals at Hillcrest Dental will gently provide a deep cleaning if needed. Call for a consultation today at (702) 666-8584.