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Why do you need a deep cleaning instead of a regular cleaning?

Only a deep cleaning can eliminate these harmful bacteria and provide the necessary condition for healing to occur.

A deep cleaning is required to reverse gum disease or if there is an abundance of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. Gum disease is a serious oral condition which can cause our teeth to become loose and infected. As gum disease progresses, it works its way down towards the foundation of your teeth. This causes periodontal pockets which harbor harmful bacteria. If you fail to clean these pockets, the bacteria will cause more damage over time. The only way to stop gum disease from progressing is by getting a periodontal therapy, or deep cleaning. Only with a deep cleaning can you eliminate these harmful bacteria and provide the necessary condition for healing to occur.

Post-op complications following deep cleaning:

Getting a deep cleaning is nothing short of having a minor surgery in your mouth. Here are a few things you may experience following your deep cleaning session:

Pain and discomfort

It’s normal to experience some pain and discomfort immediately following your deep cleaning appointment. Try taking Tylenol, Aspirin, or Ibuprofen to alleviate the discomfort. Alternating 1 tablet 500mg Tylenol & 1 tablet 400 to 800 mg Ibuprofen is a good method if your pain is severe. Follow recommended dosage and guidelines as per your doctor. For more severe pain, please contact our office for further instruction or to obtain stronger medication.

Tooth sensitivity

Your teeth may be sensitive to temperature changes or sweets for a short time following your deep cleaning session. While tooth sensitivity may be intense at first, it typically diminishes quickly over time. If necessary, try using a desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne during your recovery process.

Bleeding gums

It’s not unusual for some slight bleeding to occur during the next several brushing sessions or possibly throughout the day. Relax, as the bleeding should steadily decrease after the first couple days and stop within a few weeks. Stick to your oral hygiene routine to help your teeth and gums heal as best as possible.


Occasionally, your teeth roots may be more exposed after a deep cleaning. This may result in more open spaces between your teeth. Be sure to continue brushing and flossing your teeth so that they heal up well. As your swelling settles down, these gaps should close and return to a healthy, non-inflamed state.

Post-op instructions following deep cleaning:

The first few days following your deep cleaning may be slightly uncomfortable Here are a few things to watch out for in the next few days following your deep cleaning session:


Avoid eating right after your deep cleaning session at least until your numbness has worn off. Be aware that it might be uncomfortable to chew certain hard foods for the next few days. As such, you might want to avoid eating meats, raw vegetables and bread for a day or two afterwards. It’s best to follow a soft diet until your chewing becomes more comfortable in time.

Oral hygiene

Continue your oral hygiene routine as you normally would. Brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush for two minutes each time. Floss your teeth daily as you normally would. Feel free to use an over-the-counter mouthwash or rinse with warm, salt water once or twice a day. If given a prescription strength mouthwash, such as Chlohexidine, use as instructed. Disregard any bleeding that occurs for the next few weeks after your deep cleaning. The bleeding should slow down in the next few weeks as your gums continue to heal and settle down.

Are deep cleanings painful?

Deep cleanings are not so much painful but rather somewhat uncomfortable. However, some advanced deep cleaning sessions can become very uncomfortable. For these complicated cases, we typically recommend using anesthetic to alleviate pain. As an alternative to injectable anesthetic, we usually use a topical liquid. This is a special non-injection device that delivers anesthetic gently into your gum pockets thereby avoiding numbing of your whole entire face.

How many sessions does a deep cleaning take?

The objective of a deep cleaning is to remove tartar from your whole mouth. Depending on how advanced your periodontal disease is, this may take anywhere from 1 to 4 visits. Here is how to determine how many sessions your deep cleaning will take:

One-session deep cleaning

If you have no gingivitis then you simply don’t need a deep cleaning. In the absence of gum disease you require a regular cleaning which is always completed in one session. However, if you have ginigivits but no periodontits, then you will require a deep cleaning. If you only have gingivitis, your deep cleaning will typically be completed in one session.

Two-session deep cleaning

We usually recommend two sessions for your deep cleaning if you are suffering from mild-to-moderate periodontitis. Typically, your deep cleaning will be divided between the right side and left side of your mouth. Oftentimes, these deep cleaning sessions are performed under anesthesia to minimize pain and discomfort.

Four-session deep cleaning

If you suffer from advanced periodontitis then your deep cleaning will require 4 sessions or more. Keep in mind, this is only reserved for the most advanced gum disease cases. Removing heavy tartar buildup and cleaning deep periodontal pockets is time consuming and is best done in multiple sessions.

Hopefully we have clarified what you should expect from your deep cleaning. If you have any more questions feel free to give us a call at (949) 481-2540 at any time.