Gums Healing After Deep Teeth Cleaning
During routine dental cleanings, your dentist or dental hygienist will clean away bacterial plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth when naturally present bacteria are fed by the carbohydrates people consume. When plaque isn’t sufficiently cleaned away from the teeth, it calcifies, turning into tartar. Brushing and flossing regularly can effectively remove the majority of plaque, but tartar can only be removed by a dental professional, which is one of the reasons routine checkups and cleanings are so important. Together, effective home hygiene and regular dental visits keep the teeth and gums protected from disease and decay. If gum disease does start to develop, it can be intercepted at your routine checkup and cleaning, but when gum disease isn’t addressed promptly, bacteria begins to gather below the gum line. Inflammation in the gums, combined with this bacterial buildup, encourage these pockets of bacteria between the gums and teeth to flourish and grow deeper. Deep cleaning removes the bacterial pockets of plaque and tartar and stops the progression of gum disease, eliminating inflammation in the gums and allowing their newly healthy tissues to reattach to the teeth, where they continue to protect the tooth roots and jawbone against bacterial invasion.
The dental deep cleaning treatment consists of two different steps. The first step is scaling. Using specialized tools, your dental professional will scrape plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth below the gum line, reaching deep into the pockets to remove all traces of bacteria. Then, using different specialized tools, the dentist will perform the root planing procedure, smoothing the surfaces of the teeth below the gums so that it’s harder for bacteria to adhere to the vulnerable area and easier for the gums to heal. Following a deep teeth cleaning, most patients experience soreness and possibly bleeding in the gums for a few days; symptoms usually subside within a week, though the complete healing process continues, without symptoms, for several weeks. As the gum tissues heal and inflammation subsides, in the absence of bacterial pockets and erratic surfaces, the gum tissue once again grows snug around the teeth and can continue to protect the tooth roots and support the teeth.
It’s normal to have some sensitivity in the teeth and gums following a dental deep cleaning treatment, and it’s advisable to avoid foods and drinks that are very hot or very cold, foods that are jagged or hard, and any foods that are difficult to chew for a couple of days after the procedure. Over-the-counter medication is usually effective for managing discomfort or pain, and you may also receive a prescription for an antibiotic to prevent infection. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions closely for any prescriptions, completing the full course of any antibiotics that are prescribed. Regular, proper brushing and flossing, combined with routine dental checkups and professional cleanings, are the best first steps toward continued oral and dental health and the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. Early detection of gum disease is key, and it is often successfully diagnosed and kept at bay through routine checkups and cleanings. When gum disease does develop, a deep teeth cleaning can stop it from progressing and help restore the gums to health, helping them continue to stabilize and protect the teeth well into the future.