Know Before You Go: Teeth Cleanings

Everything you need to know to make the most of your hygiene visits: when to get a second opinion, what the hygienist actually does, and what to ask your dentist.

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Teeth Cleanings

Teeth cleanings are essential not just for clean teeth, but a healthy mind and body as well. But for such a routine visit, there’s lots that people don’t know about. Here’s what you should know and what you should expect out of your next teeth cleaning.

Before You Go

Many people see the mouth as separate from the rest of their body. But the reality is that it’s all connected — and problems in your mouth can cause or even act as an indicator of disease in other parts of your body — including dementia and heart disease.

Teeth cleanings are an essential part of keeping your mouth, and the rest of your body, disease-free. I’ve designed this guide to give you everything you need to know to get a quality teeth cleaning, get your money’s worth, and what to expect.

After you finish this guide, I’ll expect you to eliminate “whatever you say, Doc” from your vocabulary. Yes, teeth cleanings are routine, but there are some things you need to know.

Find Out Your Family History

You might know if there is cancer or heart disease in your family in case your doctor asks — and gum disease family history is just as important. Find out what type of gum disease and how severe.

I know it’s not exactly dinner time conversation but it doesn’t hurt to ask. There’s a strong genetic predilection for gum disease and this information can help your dentist with your teeth cleanings and overall care.

Find Out If You’ll Need an Antibiotic

We all have bacteria in our mouths and certain dental treatments can allow that bacteria to enter the bloodstream (called bacteremia). For most of us, this isn’t a problem. A healthy immune system prevents these bacteria from causing any harm.

When you have a teeth cleaning, the bacteria that are in your mouth can get into the bloodstream after the proceure. This is very common, well-known, and safe — if you’re healthy.

For certain groups of people, there is concern that this bacteremia could cause an infection elsewhere in the body. An antibiotic makes sure you cover all your bases.

If you fall into that category, click here to read my recommendations.

Understand Why Teeth Cleanings Are Necessary

We need teeth cleanings for two reasons:

  • To prevent diseases in the rest of the body like heart disease, dementia, and complications of diabetes
  • To prevent tooth loss

The mouth is an area that’s completely different from the entire body, and it takes quite a beating from the food we eat and the talking we do all day long. And this unique environment requires special care.

Teeth cleanings remove the buildup of plaque and tartar. This buildup is for the most part natural — kind of like how a boat picks up barnacles just by being in the ocean. But too much buildup leads to gum disease.

The reason tartar needs to be removed is because your body sees it as a foreign invader. As with any other foreign invader, like a flu bug or an infection, your body “sends in the troops” using the immune system to fight off the infection. There is a battle in your mouth at all times, and the war is never over. Teeth cleanings level the playing field by keeping things in check.

Gum disease is when your body’s immune system is responding to this tartar buildup with inflamed and bleeding gums. The immune system response is successful at killing off invaders like infection and flu bugs, but at a cost: like a war, there are innocent bystanders that get slaughtered. As gum disease progresses, so does the destruction to your bone and tissues in your mouth.

Your immune system is meant only to fight off infection for a short period of time — chronic activation of the immune system means it can get worn out and it won’t be as strong to fight off an illness. Chronic activation of the immune system can lead to diseases in the rest of your body.

That’s why preventing gum disease reduces risk of stroke, heart disease, and dementia.

At a certain stage, this damage is irreversible, so prevention is the best way to maintain overall health and keep beautiful teeth for a lifetime — and teeth cleanings are a critical piece of this prevention.

What Is a Teeth Cleaning?

A professional teeth cleaning is done by the hygienist at a dentist’s office. The hygienist uses tools to remove tartar from your teeth — both above and below where the gum meets the tooth.

During the Appointment

What You Should Expect

Your hygienist should explain what work is being done, why it’s being done, and why your teeth may be sensitive or why your gums are bleeding.

You can ask for a mirror or an intra-oral camera (a more hi-tech version of the mirror) which will allow you to watch your hygienist working and understand what’s being done to your teeth.

It’s one thing to hear your hygienist say, “You really need to pay more attention to your back molars.” But it’s quite another thing to actually see your hygienist scraping tartar from your back molars so you can following up with proper brushing and flossing at home.

Your dentist or hygienist should give you an updated primer on proper brushing and flossing technique. Follow through after a teeth cleaning is everything, so use this opportunity to get a full demo of what you should be doing at home to keep your mouth disease-free and healthy.

What to Ask For

While you’re there for your teeth cleaning, ask your dentist for a diagnosis for stage of gum disease. This will give you some idea of where to go from here. You can have direction until you know where you’re starting from.

You can ask: “Am I type I, II, III, IV, or V for gum disease?”

Understand What Gum Disease Is

Imagine when you’ve cut your hand — it swells up. The same thing happens to gums that are inflamed by the buildup of tartar, even more so than swelling in other parts of the body because gums have an incredibly rich blood supply.

Discuss this with your dentist and make sure to talk about your own status when it comes to gum disease.

Know Why a Pocket Reading Is So Important For Overall Health

gum disease progression

Where the gum and the tooth meet isn’t actually where they attach — they are attached further down. This creates a small pocket, which you can picture like a moat all the way around your tooth.

The size of this little pocket can change in two ways:

  1. At the bottom of the pocket are ligaments that hold the gum and tooth together. These ligaments are eaten away by the enzyme produced by the body produces when the body feels it’s under attack (collagenase). This makes the pocket deeper.
  2. The top flap of the pocket can grow in size due to inflammation.

Pockets can get deeper from the top or the bottom — but however it happens, it’s not good for your health.

That’s why a “pocket reading” is an important indicator of your health. A pocket reading is a measurement of the size of your pockets.

Deeper pockets are indicators of disease. Ideally, you’re preventing your pockets from deepening with proper oral hygiene at home and regular teeth cleanings, which will prevent your gums from being inflamed.

Ask For Your Pocket Reading

Ask to hold a mirror so you can watch your dentist measure your pocket — you’ll see a little probe with ruler lines on it being inserted into your pocket.

periodontal probe
Photo via healthsnap.ca

Ask your dentist for your pocket reading. Again, this is good to know. Just as you want to know what your blood pressure is, you want to know what your pocket reading is and be aware of how it’s changing.

Know the Different Types of Teeth Cleanings

There are different types of teeth cleanings, depending on how healthy your gums are. Make sure you’re not over-treated or under-treated.

No Gum Disease

This is the best and what you should aim for at each teeth cleaning. There’s no bleeding when the dentist flosses your gums or puts the probe inside your pockets to measure them.

Treatment: Maintain, maintain, maintain. It is infinitely easier (and healthier) to maintain good health and prevent disease than it is to become unhealthy and to have to seek treatment. Ask your dentist how to maintain this good health. You will still need regular teeth cleanings, but in exceptional cases, you might be able to get a cleaning once per year, and this is perfectly fine.

Having no gum disease for a lifetime will reduce your risk of heart disease, dementia. If you have diabetes, it will reduce complications. The reduced inflammation in your body will make you better at fighting infection and maybe even make it easier to lose weight. Keep up the good work!

Type I: Gingivitis

Gingivitis is very common. Around 80% of people in the United States have gingivitis.

If you have gingivitis, your gums bleed when you floss them or when the dentist measures your pockets. There might be some redness along the edge of the gum where it meets the tooth.

Gingivitis means your gums are reacting to an infection and they’re diseased. Healthy gums don’t bleed when touched.

Treatment: you’ll need to be doing better at home with flossing and brushing and you might need to increase your frequency. Ask your dentist or hygienist for a demo of proper brushing and flossing technique. You might also need different instruments — gum disease can be aggravated by a toothbrush that is too old.

Type II: Early Periodontitis

At this stage, you’ve had gingivitis for some time and it has progressed to something more serious. Your dentist might tell you that you have deep pockets. Your gums are bleeding when flossed or probed. It’s possible you may even have some ligament damage to the place where your gums attach to your teeth.

Gum recession is also common at this stage. Gum recession is when gums pull down, away from the tooth, after healing from inflammation. Receding gums aren’t pretty and they lead to tooth sensitivity because the root of the tooth starts to become exposed as the gum pulls down. Gum recession is 100% irreversible. It’s permanent and no surgery can fix it.

Treatment: Early periodontitis is the beginning of a very dangerous path. If you’re at this stage, I would recommend a deep cleaning, called a scale and root planing.

A root planing is required at this stage because there’s so much tartar buildup that brushing and flossing on your own will be inadequate now. With this much tartar buildup, it’s impossible to clean down to the surface of the tooth — until it’s removed by a professional in a deep cleaning.

Ask your dentist which sections of your mouth are affected because you might not need the deep cleaning everywhere. Scale and root planings are done in quarters — upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left. You will need a deep cleaning in one, two, three, or all four of these quadrants.

A scale and root planing gives you the chance to prevent the tartar from building up and taking hold again. This is why follow through is critical after the deep cleaning. Ask your dentist for a demo of the proper flossing and brushing technique you’ll need to use at home.

Type III, IV, and V: Moderate to Severe Periodontitis

At this stage, you also have deeper pockets and bleeding gums. As the severity increases, it gets more and more difficult to get healthy again. In these severe stages of periodontitis, you begin to tempt your fate with a point of no return — as in, the point where your gums will no longer respond to treatment. Surgery is frequently required in these stages.

Treatment: You’ll need multiple scale and root planings (read the section about Type II: Early Periodontitis above for information on the scale and root planing procedure). I would recommend considering a second opinion from a periodontist as well, who specializes in these more advanced and serious stages of gum disease.

After your root planing procedures, your follow through at home with proper brushing and flossing is imperative to be able to reverse the disease. Everything done at the dentist will be reversed without your taking care of your teeth every day and after every meal.

Ask your dentist: “How am I brushing and flossing?” By asking this, you are verifying the efficacy of how you take care of your teeth at home.

Gum disease is a very complicated, multi-factor disease, and no matter what stage you’re at, and even if you don’t have gum disease, you have to monitor it your whole life — kind of like blood pressure. The mouth is never static — it is always changing depending on the foods we eat, how we brush and floss, and the chemicals we expose it to.

The treatment guidelines above are for gum disease that is caused by plaque. But gum disease can also occur due to hormonal changes from a pregnancy, medications you’re taking, grinding your teeth, poor dentistry, or root canals, you could get gum disease that way.

Summary of Questions to Ask During the Appointment

  • What classification of gum disease do I have?
  • How deep are my pockets?
  • Do you notice any gum recession?
  • Am I over-brushing?
  • Am I grinding my teeth?
  • May I have a demo of how I should floss and brush my teeth?

After the Teeth Cleaning

No matter whether you have gum disease or not, or what stage gum disease you have, your oral hygiene at home is critical. Follow through after your teeth cleaning is everything.

Make sure you are:

  • Brushing and flossing after meals, or at least twice per day.
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables
  • Making an appointment for every three months if you have gum disease, or every six months if you don’t have gum disease and are just maintaining good health.

Gum disease is easy to prevent, but a hard disease to get rid of. Home care is essential — your dentist and hygienist can’t do it all for you at these appointments.

Glossary

Bleeding upon provocation: Your gums bleed when flossed or measured by the dentist

Pockets: The “moat” all around each of your teeth that is naturally present. It’s the space between the gum line (where you see your gums and teeth meet when you look in the mirror) and where the tooth and gum attach a little further down

Deep pockets: Pockets that are damaged

Morphology changes: Early changes to the shape, color, and texture to the gums that make it readily evident to the trained eye that there is gum disease present

Gum disease: An infection of the tissues that surround and support the teeth, which causes tooth loss and inflammation throughout the body that is linked to diseases like dementia and heart disease

Periodontitis: A more serious infection which, like gum disease, leads to tooth loss and inflammation throughout the body which is linked to other diseases

Bone loss: The loss of the bone that surrounds the tooth, hence the loss of supporting tissue of the tooth, and the eventual loss of the tooth itself

Periodontist: A dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease

FAQ

Q:

You're cutting me with that sharp instrument! Of course my gums bleed!

A: This is a common myth!

Where the gum and the tooth meet isn’t actually where they attach — they are attached further down. This creates a small pocket, which you can picture like a moat all the way around your tooth.

It might feel like you’re getting pricked, but what’s actually happening is a small probe is being inserted into that pocket. Sticking this probe in between the gum and tooth lets the dentist see if the gum bleeds and oozes on its own if touched or flossed.

Q:

Can Gum Disease Be Cured?

A: Gum disease is easy to prevent, but once you have it, it’s a complex, multi-factor disease that is different for everyone.

This is why treatment of gum disease has to be individualized for each person.

You can usually reverse gum disease in the earlier stages, but at the later stages you can only arrest it — meaning, you won’t be able to reverse it, but you’ll be able to at least keep it where it is and stop progressing to further stages of gum disease.

By the time you get bone loss at stage III, it becomes a disease that is not curable. At this stage, the best you can hope to do is stop the disease from progressing further, but there’s no reversing disease and getting back to where you once were. You can get rid of inflammation at this point, but you’ll potentially require surgery or implants. There’s no getting rid of bone loss. At stage III, you’ve potentially changed the architecture of your jaw.

Q:

Why would my hygienist recommend a teeth cleaning every two months?

A: Ask your hygienist: How deep are my pockets? How well am I flossing? Have your hygienist or dentist justify it.If you require a teeth cleaning every two months, it could be that you have tartar that builds up below the gumline quickly, deep pockets, and poor oral hygiene on your part.
Q:

When should I seek out a second opinion?

A: If you are diagnosed with type III, IV, or V, get a second opinion from another dentist.

Mark Burhenne DDS

Read Next: How to Make Teeth Cleanings Less Painful

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51 Comments

Leave a Comment

  1. great article, very “user friendly”

    • Thank you, Cheryl! I appreciate that feedback. It’s a LONG article, and I tried to break it up to make it more user friendly, so thanks for the comment! Glad it helped!

      • I have just been diagnosed with early stage periodonal disease. I did not see anything here that talked about my issue. Bone loss, pockets that changed from 3 to 6 in 4 yrs. I have good hygiene almost obsessive. I have always had very little plaque and tarter. Dr. suspects mine is from teeth grinding and genetic. I don’t understand why I need the scrape if I have little tarter and plaque.

  2. I am disappointed that you say nothing about vitamin K2, and vitamins D and A. I just started taking enough K2 a few months ago, and the plaque that always formed on my teeth, especially the inside of my lower teeth has been dissolved off and is staying off as long as I keep taking these fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamins D and A cause the production of calcium transport proteins, and vitamin K2 is required to activate them. One of them is MGP, which removes calcium from where it doesn’t belong, including arteries and other soft tissues. I think you should revise this article to dispense this vital information.

    • Thank you for this informative information, all my life I have cleaned my teeth regular, later in life flossed and cleaned, then flossed cleaned, used small brushes & Listerine but had to major fillings recently..despite always having at least to Dentist appointments & 2 Hygienist appointments a year why didn’t the dentist fill when small hole, if dentist vigilant why wait until huge filling needed..I still have small holes in other teeth..makes me angry!

      • I’ve asked the same question to the dentist. I have asked them why do they wait for them before they do a filling, and they told me that sometimes they give the tiny cavities time to remineralize meaning they CAN heal, that is if you take very good care of them and keep your teeth clean. Perhaps even stop eating sweets or limiting them and brushing immediately after consuming sweets/food.

        • ArtDoc84UA says:

          That guy is just giving you bull) When visible a cavity never recovers.

  3. Mark Burhenne DDS says:

    Dave, great point! And you are slightly ahead of me! I think you’re referring to Kate’s book: http://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-K2-Calcium-Paradox-Little-Known/dp/0062320041 and I agree that it’s vital information. Look for an in-depth post and then update and integration into this post, coming soon. I’m currently performing my own experiments in regards to the effects of K2 and, as you’ve reported so far, everything looks favorable, but need to solidify data points before presenting to all the readers. Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it! – Dr. B

    P.S. There’s also a new toothpaste developed in Los Gatos, California that you should be using that would provide some synergy along with the K2 — we should talk about that soon too.

  4. Jaqueline Steuart says:

    This may not be the best place to ask this, but, I need Atlanta dentists and I don’t know who is good and who is not… has anyone ever heard of this Atlanta dental care? They’reIt’s based out of Atlanta, not too farm from my appartment. I cannot find reviews on them – Exceptional Smile LLC, 4420 Bankers Cir, Atlanta, GA 30360 – (678) 841-8800

  5. Deb Glasser says:

    Not to hijack this thread, but, I’d like to see Atlanta dentists and I don’t know where to look… do you know anyting about this Atlanta dentist? They’reIt’s based out of Atlanta, only 15 minutes from my office. I am not able to find reviews on them – Exceptional Smile LLC, 4420 Bankers Cir, Atlanta, GA 30360 – (678) 841-8800

    • I simply want to tell you that I am newbie to blogs and actually liked your website. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You definitely have ouandtsting articles. Regards for sharing your blog site.

  6. I recently had a scaling and root planing on 3 quadrants (I have not been able to complete the last quadrant yet). I feel that the dentist may not have removed all the bacteria and now I am dealing with an infection. Does this sound plausible?

    • Mark Burhenne DDS says:

      I don’t have all the details on your case, but it is plausible. What makes you think you have an infection? Is it a fistula? Abscess? Sometimes a cleaning can dislodge bacteria and cause a secondary infection, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have cleanings. Go back to your dentist and have this checked out.

  7. I’m seeing a new periodontist for scale & root planing. I’ve had this done once before (different periodontist) and it was done in quadrants – I think it was one visit for the right side top & bottom, and then 2nd visit for left top & bottom. This new periodontist wants to do the entire mouth in one visit. I’m a bit afraid of having my whole mouth numbed up at the same time. The tongue will be numb after that and I’m afraid I won’t be able to swollow. Is it common to have the whole mouth done in one visit???

    • I can now answer my own fear. I told the periodontist my fear and he only numbed the particular teeth on the bottom that he thought really needed to be numb instead of giving a block which would have made my tongue numb. From what I understand, the nerves are different on the bottom & hence a nerve block is given. Periodontist was very nice & the appointment went well.

      • Sorry, looks like I spelled my own name wrong when I responded to myself!

        • Wow I must confess you make some very trhcneant points.

        • I am scared at the thought of having all four quadrants done at the same time. Please ease my fears!

          • Dr. Mark Burhenne says:

            4 QUADS IN ONE SITTING: THAT’S A BIT EXTREME AND UNUSAL. EACH QUAD DONE PROPERLY TAKES AT LEAST 30 TO 45 MIN. ASK THEM HOW MUCH TIME THEY HAVE SET ASIDE FOR YOUR APPT. IF IT’S LESS THAN 2 HRS, THEN THEY ARE DOING THIS TO MAKE PROFIT. GET A SECOND OPNION AS TO HOW DEEP YOUR POCKETS ARE. SORRY FOR THE ALL CAPS REPLY. MY SHIFT KEY IS STUCK, NEW LAPTOP ARRIVING TOMORROW!
            DRB

            Dr. Mark Burhenne | AsktheDentist.com Read reviews for The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox Facebook | Twitter | YouTube (408) 737-2100

            Schedule a Skype or phone consultation with me

  8. I’ve been having a plaque build up on my lower teeth. I feel like there are stones and it’s very hard surface. I tried using the electric brush last night and there was too much blood. I have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, is there a possibility that there’s a link between the psoriasis and my teeth condition? Also my mom always says that the more teeth cleaning I get would cause my teeth to be weaker is that true?

  9. Sam Fisher says:

    I think it is quite surprising to see how many people don’t go to the dentist. A friend of mine hasn’t gone in years. Even though his teeth are fine, I don’t think they will be for long. Anyways, I’ll have to show him this article to try and convince him to go. I’ll even show him the video you posted too.

  10. Amanda P. says:

    This is a great, informative post. I’m a hygienist and I love when my patient’s have questions for me. It is absolutely your right as a patient to be informed on your periodontal health.

    Amanda P. RDH

  11. Does teeth cleaning removes enamel too from teeth ?

  12. Thank you for your post.

    I am 33 and I have flossed once a day for 20 years (ever since I had braces and had to floss) and I don’t see any bleeding, yet I have been diagnosed with periodontal disease..is this possible?
    Wouldn’t I have noticed gingivitis prior to this diagnosis?

    Also, I received descaling on all quadrants. A year later the dentist said my teeth look good and I can now be seen every 6 months, however when I went in on the 6 month mark his hygienist said I now had 6mm pockets and I never had 6mm pockets before the descaling. I still floss and I bought a sonicare toothbrush after the descaling. Is it possible to get deeper pockets after descaling?

    This frustrates me not only of the money I’m spending, but also because I now don’t trust my dentist..how can my teeth get worse! Are they over-diagnosing?

  13. Kairi Gainsborough says:

    I never thought about why regular teeth cleanings are so important. I definitely don’t want to get gum disease and harm my teeth in any way. I haven’t been to the dentist in years, so I should definitely make an appoint as soon as I can.

  14. Skylar Williams says:

    I definitely agree that it is much easier to maintain good teeth rather than to try to fix a problem. It’s been almost 10 years since my last cavity and my dentist has been impressed with me all this time. It’s not too hard to maintain good oral health, but it is definitely worth it.

  15. Hi Doctor,

    I have had surgery about 3 years ago and my pockets never went down to an acceptable number and remained 3-5, 5 mostly in molars in the back. I have skipped a cleaning appointment and went back to get a cleaning and now the back molars are at 7. I realize it is my fault. I also will be getting an invisalign to reverse what the disease has done to my mouth. My perio has told me that it is possible that the bone can break while wearing braces and he will have to watch it. I have bone loss at 70% at a few areas but overall is not as bad and have bone loss everywhere. With intensive home care treatment, is it possible for the 7s to go back to lower numbers? what do you think about an invisalign? Should I wait until they go back down in numbers to put it on? Also, what is the overall prognosis as far as bone loss. I am 33 years old. Will I be needing implants some time in the future, and if so, how are they placed if the bone loss is horizontal and not vertical/ Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

  16. Can you please clarify which is the more complete cleaning technique for an average 6 month visit?
    The hand scaling technique vs Ultrasound?

    I have veneers on my four front teeth. The controversy that I am interested in is:
    The hand scaling is a more complete technique
    The US is good but not as thorough
    I have read about both, but I am leery of the US.
    Please advise.
    I have not had my teeth cleaned in 4 years.

    • kaitlynne says:

      Both ultrasonic and handscaling can be used for a dental cleaning. The ultrasonic is usually used first to remove the bigger pieces of calculus (tarter) from your teeth and then the handscalers can be used next to remove the finer pieces.

  17. Dear,
    I cleaned my teeth by a dentist in saudi arabia area. after cleaning the teethes, doctor gave a liquid and told me in arabic which i could not understand and had taken it into my belly. Doctor also gave me some medicines to take after 12 hrs. but i did not take the medicines due to having reaction. after some days, it started problem with my stomach, blood pressure and mind sickness.
    just, i want to know that is it so dangerous to clean the teethes that it took too long for my stomach, heart and brain to come back in work properly???

  18. After having a through cleaning the dentist INSISTED on checking my mouth which I was charged for. I was not happy since I felt the hygienist had done a wonderful job. He made me sit back in the chair and spent 5 min probing telling me it was the LAW ??

  19. Alex Haris says:

    Thanks for the nice article. For teeth whitening baking soda and lime is also good.

  20. Annetta Hoggard says:

    I just had my yearly dental cleaning and checkup yesterday. The hygienist was new to the practice. I’ve been going to this practice since I was 15 and I’m 54. My tooth and gum health has always been excellent…yes I brush twice a day and floss about 3/4 times a week. My dentist has always come in to check after the cleaning and said “beautiful” “gums look wonderful” etc. Only once a year visit is recommended for me because I have low tartar buildup. Anyway, I went in with my mouth feeling great. However, this new hygienist really hurt me, poked deeply between my teeth, “created” lots of bleeding and told me I had gingivitis. I told the hygienist that was a new one on me. She said I had to be back in 6 months. My dentist came in, looked at my mouth and didn’t say a word, except a pleasantry or two. I called the office to complain because this appt. was an anomaly. The office manager said she would make note not to put me with that hygienist again. I have to wonder if my dentist saw something amiss that he was going to address with her after I left. For the first time in my life, I left that office feeling unsure about what had just happened.

  21. Why the dentist wants to begin periodontal treatment immediately on a pregnant woman??

  22. Burt Silver says:

    Thanks for mentioning that you should find out your family history before you go to see the dentist. That way, you will be able to tell your dentist if your family has any history of gum disease! I am getting ready to go in for a teeth cleaning with a new dentist. I will definitely find that information so I can share it with him.

  23. I Had scaling on my theeth 1 year ago and as per my dentist my teeth were in very bad condition doctor told me to take some antibiotics after the scaling so after taking ky first dose i started having stomach issue loose motions that take around 20 days to heal but i still have stomach issue like cramping indigestion jus wanted to lnow if it is beacause of that dental procedure.

  24. I went to a new dentist for a check-up, cleaning and a root canal. I was told I need scaling in two quadrants. Considering I haven’t been good at all about my oral hygiene until very recently (I’m 34) I wouldn’t be surprised by anything. However, I have gotten fillings from many different dentists over the years and no one has mentioned scaling. I also didn’t ask them for a cleaning so maybe it didn’t come up. Anyway, I can’t afford the scaling, I will have to save up to even afford the first one. And they refuse to clean my teeth at all until I get the scaling. I suppose my question is, if I go to another dentist for a second opinion, should I tell them why I’m there? Should I say I’m wondering if I need a scaling or should I let them do the inspection and see if they mention it?

  25. I like how the article mentions that teeth cleanings are essential for keeping your body disease free. I have heard that many diseases exhibit symptoms in your mouth, and regular dental visits can be helpful in identifying those diseases early on. Is that true? I’m trying to get my mother-in-law to be better at keeping up with her dental cleanings, so every little reason helps.

  26. Tom Rinehart says:

    The dental office told my wife that she couldn’t have her appointment for cleaning because she had not had an examination for over a year and that it was a Florida regulation that examinations must be held every year. Does this make sense?

  27. This is an interesting article guide for patients who visit(s) their dentist for a teeth cleaning. You’re so correct, the condition of our oral health determines how our body should be from the internal because our mouth the gateway for our body. What we eat is what we are, diet is so important. However, antibiotics could be bad for our body if taken over time because it kills the good and bad bacteria in our body. We need the good bacteria.
    Although I am not a medical profession, Vitamin k2 is an essential vitamin for our teeth but it was not mentioned in your article.
    Yes, bad oral health can cause heart disease, dementia and other health conditions within our body if we do not take care of it.

  28. My dentist did all 4 in one sitting. I didn’t realize how important it was to go back in 3 months. Now I have to do it all again, but I have an immune disease that attacks the inside of my cheeks. Last time I went in, they would not clean my teeth because of the open sores in my mouth. I cried! I have a prescription mouthwash. My cheeks look awful so I think they should give me an antibiotic or a steroid to be able to get this cleaning done. I am scared.

  29. I’m confused, help please. My dentist mentioned bone loss on a tooth and had it extracted. He also mentioned a few deep pockets and recommended deep cleaning. I trusted his recommendation. The front desk then recommends a regular cleaning first, then the hygienist will decide, what do I want to do? Uh, I’ll follow the dentists advice please. Still the receptionist is arguing I need to do regular cleaning first, then they’ll see if I need deep cleaning after that. This treatment recommendation by by a receptionist, not mentioned at all by the dentist, made me very uncomfortable with this office. I haven’t been back. So, my question is, who recommends the deep cleaning, the dentist or the hygienist? Or, the front desk?

    • That doesn’t sound right. They told me I needed a scaling and refused to do a regular cleaning on me instead (because I didn’t have the money for a scaling at the time). I saved up and came back when I could afford it and got a full mouth scaling. Like I said, they refused to do a regular cleaning on me. I’d talk directly to your dentist or peradontist (who is usually the one who actually does “deep cleanings” aka scaling) and clarify.

  30. velma lopes says:

    I had SRP on 10/5. I went for a second opinion on 10/9 and the dentist said I had tartar left after the treatment. What are the statistics on tartar left after scaling and planning?

  31. I was feeling pain in my gums for few days I’m not good with oral health so it thought maybe if i start brushing and flossing it will go away but it didn’t i waited a week and went to dental clinic. I search things on internet so k knew sone names lol i asked the receptionist the charges of Normal scaling she couldn’t speak English (I’m a student in thailand’ and called doctor and i asked him the price of scaling and then deep cleaning and root planing which was expensive and some other stuff like gum grafting he was surprised i asked me how do i know all this and checked my teeth standing at the reception and said ur gums don’t need grafting but for the rest of checkup there is a professional in today she will check me after 20 min. When she called me she didn’t even spend few seconds looking into ky mouth and said u need deep cleaning and root planing i asked how do u know in just few seconds (didn’t even check how deep are pockets around teeth) and thought maybe that male dentist told her that i was asking all that procedure as it was thailand so i thought maybe should take 2nd opinion i went to other clinics but dentist wasn’t available then i found a govt run dental clinic went there didn’t told her what other doctor said she checked my teeth i asked if i had gum disease she said u have huge tartar but scaling will do she said it will hurt a little but it will do it did hurt a little she gave me some antibiotic cuz there was some infection and ask me to come next week for some fillings now I’m surprised one dentist said normal scaling will do it and the other said deep cleaning with root planing for now my gums are not bleeding or no pain at all there is some sensitivity but it will heal i think. So should i go to 3rd dentist for opinion?or my teeths are fine

  32. Chris Arena says:

    Good Afternoon,
    I am going to have my teeth cleaned after coming off antibiotics (Z-Pack 250mg.for 5 days. It has a long half life and stays in your system for a long time. I was wondering if I should wait awhile to have them cleaned in order to re build my immune system. My gums always bleed when I have my teeth cleaned. I don’t want to get any infection that could lead to sepsis. Really scared. Could you please advise me as to what to do. I appreciate it very much. Thank you and have a nice day.

  33. Hannah Schroeder says:

    I didn’t know that 80 percent of people in American have gingivitis. My gums feel tender when I brush my teeth, and sometimes they bleed. I guess I’m part of that 80 percent, but maybe if I go to the dentist more regularly, I can get treatment.

  34. Hi. My daughter has deep grooves in her back teeth. The dentist said that there is a lot of bacteria build-up lodged in the grooves of one of her teeth. Therefore, he wants to clean up the tooth and then put flowable on it. I asked why he can’t just clean it and then leave it alone. He said that the cleaning involves scraping the tooth so you would need to fill it in with flowable. He uses flowable material rather than a sealant material. Do you agree with this approach to stained back teeth with deep grooves and bacteria stuck in the grooves? If not, is there another approach?

    Thanks!

  35. What would the numbers be on the measurements to be considered Type II, Type III, IV, Periodontitis. Thank you.

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