Having periodic teeth cleaning is a great way to prevent and treat gum disease. While brushing your teeth and flossing are important to fight off the buildup of plaque and tartar, there are always areas that are hard to reach, such as the roots of your teeth. The bacteria in plaque can cause serious conditions that affect your oral health, such as periodontal diseases or bone loss.
A deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, simply cleans between your gums and teeth to remove tartar formed at the tooth’s root. The dental hygienists at Legacy Dentistry of Virginia offer to scale and root planning services for individuals suffering from gingivitis (gum inflammation) and moderate to severe periodontal gum disease.
SRP (Scaling and Root Cleaning) vs. Routine Cleaning
SRP is a deep cleaning performed under the gum line. It differs from your regular dental cleaning that you have every six months.
During a regular cleaning, your dental hygienist focuses on removing the plaque, tartar, and stains in between your teeth and gums. If you brush and floss daily, bacteria are kept to a minimum and a regular cleaning should be sufficient to keep your gums healthy.
If your dentist notices you have signs of periodontal diseases, such as gum inflammation or any evidence that your gums are receding from the teeth, you will need a dental deep cleaning. A deep cleaning, also called periodontal scaling or SRP, involves cleaning between the gum line and the roots to fight off large “pockets” of bacteria and tartar. If these “pockets” are left untreated, it can cause eventual tooth loss.
Scaling is the removal of hardened plaque and tartar from the teeth and gum “pockets,” while root planing is the smoothing out of your teeth roots. After SRP, the surfaces of your teeth’ roots will be smooth, which helps prevent bacteria from attaching again and causing further damage. SRP may take longer than one visit, unlike regular cleanings.
For those with periodontal disease, a deep cleaning is the best way to reverse the disease’s progression. Our patients usually see great results after coming in for deep cleaning. The dentists at Legacy Dentistry of Virginia may use a local anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable depending on the condition of your gums and the depth of your “pockets.”
Reasons for Deep Cleaning
There are many benefits to getting a deep cleaning, including:
- Tooth protection: If bacteria pockets are not removed, more bacteria will grow. Scaling and root planing removes the bacteria and stops the progression of periodontal disease.
- Aesthetics: Scaling and root planing also removes stains during the process, which is a plus that gives you a more attractive smile.
- Better breath: Bad breath is a telltale sign of periodontal disease. A deep cleaning will relieve you of the persistent bad odor from your mouth.