Deep cleaning stops the progression of periodontal disease, prevents deterioration of the bone and tissue supporting the teeth, and encourages regrowth of the gums. A deep cleaning is not the same as a routine dental cleaning, and it is only beneficial for patients with gum disease or plaque that has been detected beneath the gumline.
Bacteria and the resulting plaque and tartar that form on the teeth that are not removed through a regular dental cleaning work their way below the gum line, causing inflammation that makes the gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets. These pockets trap food and bacteria, compounding the problem as the infection and inflammation work their way to the tooth's root and the bone that supports the tooth.
During deep cleaning, planing and scaling with either a scraping tool or an ultrasonic tool scrapes away bacteria, plaque and tartar from the gums and the tooth down to its roots. This leaves a smooth surface on the tooth for the gums to re-attach. Antibiotics are prescribed for use before and after the procedure, or a piece of antibiotic fiber may be left between the gums and the teeth to treat the existing infection and prevent infection from any bacteria that enters the bloodstream during the deep cleaning.