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What is a Dental Deep Cleaning, and Do I Need It?

What is a Dental Deep Cleaning, and Do I Need It?

There are times when a standard cleaning from your Dallas dentist won’t do. A dental deep cleaning is a procedure performed to treat periodontal disease. This is especially needed when bacteria finds its way into your gum line.

The Need for a Dental Deep Cleaning

Also known as root planning and periodontal scaling, a dental deep cleaning is performed below your gum line and the outer surface of the roots. Your dentist will suggest this procedure when tartar buildup has already caused gum infection. When this happens, there will be pocketing – the area between the gum and tooth where bacteria forms – causing a widening of the gum line. Healthy, normal pockets should ideally be no more than 3mm deep. If there is loss of connective tissue, bone and tooth loss might happen.

Dental deep cleaning can help promote healing by controlling the infection. As you may already know, preventing inflammation caused by infection anywhere in your body – which includes your mouth – is essential to overall health, especially if you have heart disease or diabetes.

How Do I Know If I’m a Candidate for Dental Deep Cleaning?

Consult with your dentist if you notice the following:

  • Your gums may appear swollen and red.
  • Your teeth appears longer than the usual. This is a sign that your gums are pulling away.
  • Your gums may feel tender or might bleed when you floss or brush.

Your dentist will measure the pockets in your gums with the use of a special probe or may take x-rays to identify if there is bone loss. You may need scaling and planning in just a few areas or in your entire mouth, depending on the severity of the infection. The dental professional can perform this procedure using either manual scaling tools or ultrasonic or electric instruments.

The procedure can typically all be done in a single visit. However, a follow up visit may be needed to check for pocket depth and to confirm that your teeth and gums are getting healthier. To reduce the bacteria in your mouth, your dentist might prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash.


Your Dallas dentist will give you special homecare instructions after the dental deep cleaning procedure. Expect for your dentist to require you to come back for more regular or frequent cleanings, say, every three months instead of twice yearly.

With dental deep cleaning and a good home care routine, you will be sure to see improvement.


“Scaling and Root Planing,” Mouth Healthy by ADA, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/scaling-and-root-planing
“Do you need a deep dental cleaning?,” Today, https://www.today.com/series/one-small-thing/do-you-need-deep-dental-cleaning-dentists-discuss-t127590
“When Do My Teeth Need a Deep Cleaning?,” Colgate, https://www.colgate.com/en-ph/oral-health/gum-disease/teeth-deep-cleaning-and-when-you-need-it