Can a deep cleaning make your teeth fall out?
Many people, upon being told that they will need a deep cleaning, wonder if the treatment may potentially have any sort of negative side effect - such as the loss of teeth. If you are in need of a deep cleaning and wondering if your teeth may become loose or fall out of the mouth, you are not alone; continue reading to learn more.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease (also known as periodontitis) is a chronic infection that occurs in the gum tissues, caused by excessive bacterial growth inside the mouth.
Bacteria accumulates inside the mouth in the form of plaque, a sticky and filmy substance that coats the teeth. Proper brushing and flossing is the best way to eliminate plaque and maintain a healthy oral environment. Unfortunately, when plaque is not removed from the surface of the teeth, it hardens into tartar.
Tartar is a bone-hard bacterial substance that can not be removed with brushing or flossing at home; it must be removed by a dental professional with the use of professional hygiene tools.
If the tartar is allowed to remain on the teeth, bacteria multiplies both above and below the gumline. This continues and worsens until the patient is able to attend a professional deep cleaning appointment to have the plaque and tartar removed from the mouth. Over time, the patient faces the risk of developing gum disease.
Gum disease typically presents symptoms such as:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Bleeding in the gums
- Painful or inflamed gums
- Heightened pain or sensitivity
- Loose teeth
- Eventual tooth loss
- Pockets of space between the tooth and gum
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, don’t fret, you are not alone! It is currently estimated that 3 in 10 Australians have moderate to severe gum disease. Common causes of gum disease include poor dental hygiene, tobacco use, prescription medications, diabetes, and genetics, to name a few.
This oral condition is the second and more advanced stage of gingivitis; once it develops, it can not be reversed - it can only be prevented from worsening. Thankfully, periodontitis can be successfully managed with regular deep cleanings carried out by a dental hygienist.
What is a Deep Cleaning?
A deep cleaning - known clinically as a scaling and root planing - is a specialized dental hygiene treatment that is designed to treat gum disease.
During a deep cleaning, the dental hygienist works to remove plaque and tartar from both above and below the gumline - not just simply above it on the surfaces of the teeth. The removal of these bacteria-laden substances ensures that a clean and healthy oral environment can be maintained, despite the presence of gum disease. Ultimately, this helps the patient prevent their condition from progressing and helps promote the long-term health of the teeth and gums.
Depending on the extent of the patient’s condition, the hygienist may choose to place antibiotics beneath the gums after the cleaning is complete. These antibiotics help discourage bacterial growth and help maintain a clean and healthy condition beneath the gums in the time between deep cleaning appointments. Gum disease patients are typically asked to return every three months rather than six months to ensure that a close eye can be kept on the condition.
Some of the most notable benefits of deep teeth cleanings include:
- Prevent gum disease from progressing
- Treat and prevent infections inside the mouth
- Eliminate and prevent bad breath (halitosis)
- Protect the teeth against future decay
- Preserve the health of the teeth, gums, and jaw bone
- Tooth loss prevention
Why Do I Need a Deep Cleaning?
So, why exactly do you need a deep cleaning rather than a “regular” cleaning? Many people, upon being informed that they will need a deep cleaning, wonder why a regular cleaning will no longer do the job of keeping their teeth and gums healthy.
If you are unfamiliar with deep cleanings or dental hygiene treatment as a whole, the process may seem a bit confusing or intimidating at first. No worries - here at FY Smile, we are here to help you stay informed and educated about all things oral health.
Your dentist has recommended you for a deep cleaning to help you successfully treat your gum disease and to prevent the condition from worsening. As previously discussed, gum disease has the potential to lead to a myriad of troubling symptoms - such as loose teeth and tooth loss - if it is left untreated.
Thankfully, modern gum disease treatment is designed to stop bacterial growth in its tracks, removing harmful plaque and tartar both above and below the gums that can contribute to the worsening of the condition.
In order to maintain a clean and healthy oral environment and to promote the long-term health of your teeth and gums, you will need to undergo deep cleanings every three months - in addition to keeping up with proper home care on your own outside of the dental office.
So, why can’t a regular cleaning get the job done? A regular dental cleaning removes plaque and tartar from above the gumline, but it does not help eliminate plaque and tartar that have accumulated beneath the gumline. Because gum disease is characterized by an infection caused by excessive bacteria content beneath the gumline, the removal of plaque and tartar beneath the gums is a crucial aspect of successful gum disease treatment.
Rest assured that you are not being asked to undergo a deep cleaning to complicate things. If your hygienist were to administer a regular cleaning rather than a deep cleaning, the bacteria beneath the gums would continue to multiply despite a clean environment above the gums.
In turn, this would ultimately cause irreparable damage to your gum and bone tissues and allow the gum disease to progress and worsen. A deep cleaning helps ensure that your periodontitis is under control and does not lead to serious oral health issues that will negatively impact your overall quality of life.
Will a Deep Cleaning Hurt Me?
If you are wondering if your deep cleaning will cause you any pain or discomfort, you are certainly not alone. This is one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes time to discuss gum disease treatment, and it’s definetely an important question to ask!
The first thing to consider is that every individual is different; no two mouths are alike, no two treatment plans are alike, and no two people have the same pain threshold. While one person may experience pain or discomfort during their treatment, another person may be perfectly comfortable during the exact same procedure.
Deep cleanings, by nature, are a bit of an invasive treatment. Because your hygienist will need to work below the gum line, it is certainly possible that you may experience some discomfort during your treatment, but it is important to keep in mind that your comfort is always of the utmost importance.
If you have any sort of concerns about discomfort or pain during your treatment, don’t hesistate to discuss them with your hygienist. If needed (or wanted), you have the option of using anesthetics to ensure that you are numb throughout the procedure. In some cases, your hygienist will go ahead and suggest the use of local anesthetics to ensure your comfort based solely on the extent of your condition.
Your hygienist can begin by using a topical anesthetic to first numb the tissues before administering an injectable anesthetic to completely numb the area. This helps to ensure that you will not feel any pain or discomfort due to the insertion of the needle. You will then be able to undergo your deep cleaning treatment without any sort of discomfort at all.
If you struggle with anxieties surrounding your dental treatment, have a general fear of needles, or would prefer a more extensive form of anesthesia, ask about sedation dentistry. Your hygienist can ensure that you are put into a comfortable slumber during your treatment.
Because scaling and root planing treatment can be a bit extensive, it is not uncommon for patients to feel a bit sore in the hours following the procedure. Not to worry; this soreness or discomfort is usually quite mild, and can typically be successfully managed with over-the-counter pain medications. If you have concerns about pain management after your deep cleaning, feel free to address your concerns with your hygienist. In some cases, he or she can prescribe something to help ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.
Will a Deep Cleaning Make My Teeth Fall Out?
Given the intensive and invasive nature of gum disease treatment, many people wonder if their teeth will become loose or fall out after they have received a deep cleaning. This is a perfectly rational question; after all, a deep cleaning requires thorough care and interceptive treatment beneath the gum line, where the jaw bone naturally holds the teeth in place.
The truth is that deep cleanings are completely safe and are designed to help you maintain the cleanest and healthiest oral environment possible; to put it simply, no, your teeth will not fall out as a result of your deep cleaning.
In some extreme cases, some patients will find that they feel a bit of looseness in their teeth after they have received a deep cleaning. While of course this can be alarming, it is important to keep in mind that this is not likely a direct result of the deep cleaning itself. This is actually typically an indication that the tartar that was once above and below the gumline was actually holding the teeth in place, giving the illusion that the teeth were healthier and stronger than they actually were.
In this case, the removal of the tartar has simply revealed the extent of the bone loss that has occurred as a result of the gum disease itself; this bone loss has caused the teeth to become loose, as they no longer have a stable base inside the jaw bone. Any looseness in the teeth that may be experienced at this point is not a direct result of the deep cleaning, but rather serves as an indication of the severity and progression of the gum disease itself.
If you do experience looseness in your teeth after your deep cleaning is complete, your hygienist and dentist will consult you with your options for restoring the integrity of the bone and gum tissues. While these tissues can not naturally regenerate on their own, it is possible to have bone or tissue grafts placed to help encourage the restoration process.
FY Smile: Gum Disease Treatment in Sydney
Though gum disease treatment may at first seem a bit intimidating, the truth is that your dental professionals are fully dedicated to ensuring that you are as comfortable as possible throughout the entirety of your treatment.
With the information we have covered here today, you should have a more thorough understanding of how you can benefit from your gum disease treatment, as well as the peace of mind that you can expect to enjoy thanks to the safety and convenience of the treatment itself. If you have questions about what you may personally expect during your deep cleaning, feel free to consult your trusted dental hygienist.
Here at FY Smile, we strive to provide our patients with an unparalleled level of dental care; that is why we are proud to offer comprehensive gum disease treatment in beautiful Sydney. Our team of experts are here to provide the treatment you need to maintain a beautiful and healthy smile.
Your journey towards optimal dental health begins here. In addition to offering deep cleanings in Sydney, FY Smile is proud to offer a wide range of dental services. From basic tooth fillings to dental implants to Invisalign and more, we’ve got you covered.
For more information about gum disease treatment in Sydney or to get scheduled in our Double Bay dental clinic, feel free to give us a call anytime at 02 8319 5557.
Does your busy schedule make phone calls a bit tricky? No worries; our digital Contact Form can be filled out in just seconds.