Why do we need deep cleanings?

If you are suffering from gum disease, you know how serious it can be. Gum disease starts with inflammation that 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 have a right old party, causing more damage over time. To stop gum disease from progressing, we you need periodontal therapy, or deep cleaning. Only a deep cleaning can rid you of these harmful bacteria and provide the necessary condition for healing to occur.

Instructions after your deep cleaning

Congratulations on completing your deep cleaning! Here are a few things to watch out for in the coming days:

  • DIET/ EATING: It might be uncomfortable to chew hard foods after your deep cleaning. Therefore, avoid eating food such as meat or raw vegetables for a day or two. It’s best to follow a soft diet until your chewing becomes more comfortable in time.
  • Brush twice a day with soft toothbrush for two minutes.
  • Continue flossing your teeth as you normally would daily. Disregard any bleeding that occurs in the first few weeks after your deep cleaning as this should slow down soon.
  • Use over-the-counter mouthwash or rinse with warm, salt water once or twice a day. If given a prescription strength mouthwash, use as instructed.
  • Do warm salt water rinses twice a day for one week.

Post-op discomfort after deep cleaning

You can take Tylenol or Ibuprofen as needed if there is some discomfort after your deep cleaning. Try alternating 1 tablet 500mg Tylenol & 400 to 600 mg Ibuprofen if the pain persists. Follow recommended dosage and guidelines as per your doctor. For more severe pain, please contact our office for further instructions.

  • DISCOMFORT AND PAIN: Discomfort immediately after the appointment is normal and can be relieved with Tylenol, Aspirin, or Ibuprofen.
  • TOOTH SENSITIVITY: Teeth may be sensitive to temperature changes and/ or sweets for a short time after your deep cleaning. This sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures may be intense at first, but should diminish quickly over time. If necessary, try using a desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne during the healing process.
  • BLEEDING: Some slight bleeding may occur during the next several brushing sessions or throughout the day. Relax, as the bleeding should steadily decrease after 2 to 3 days and stop within a few weeks.
  • APPEARANCE: Occasionally, your tooth surfaces may be more exposed after a deep cleaning as the swelling of the inflamed gum tissue goes away. This may result in more open spaces between your teeth. Be sure to continue brushing and flossing your teeth so until they heal and your swelling settles down.

Do deep cleanings hurts?

Most deep cleanings are not very painful. However, some advanced deep cleanings can get somewhat uncomfortable and thus require anesthetics. As an alternative to injectable anesthetics, we sometimes use a topical liquid alternative. This is a special non-injection device that delivers anesthetic gently into the gum pockets thereby avoiding numbing of lips and tongue. Depending on your pocket depths, tartar buildup and overall pain tolerance, we will decide if anesthesia is required.

How long does a deep cleaning take?

Depending on how advanced your periodontal disease is, your deep cleanings takes 1 to 4 visits. Here is how it works:

  • If you have only ginigivits and no periodontits, your deep cleaning is typically completed in one session.
  • If you have mild-to-moderate periodontitis, we usually recommend two sessions. Your deep cleaning is usually divided between the right side and left side of your mouth. Oftentimes, your deep cleaning is performed under anesthesia to minimize discomfort.
  • If you suffer from advanced periodontitis, your deep cleaning takes 4 sessions to complete. This is only reserved for the most advanced cases with heavy tartar buildup and deep periodontal pockets.

Typically, each deep cleaning session takes between 30 minutes to an hour. If you have more questions about your post-op instructions, give us a call at (949) 481-2540 or come in for a checkup.