A deep cleaning is also known in the dental world as root planing and scaling. If you must have this type of treatment performed, it likely means that you have gum disease. The extent to which you have gum disease may be mild or it may be severe, but Dr. Bien will let you know. Patients who have an active infection will receive a deep cleaning FIRST to ensure the infection does not spread and to put an end to it. Active gum disease lives deep inside the pocket of the gums and you may experience bone loss, gum inflammation, bleeding gums, and tooth loss. If you think you have gum disease, you need to seek out immediate care.

Gum disease is not just a single term used for all levels of the disease. In fact, the first and less severe version of the disease is gingivitis. This is the mildest form of the disease and it starts off when there is a buildup of hardened plaque on the teeth. When you fail to remove plaque from your teeth, it will start to stick to the teeth and it becomes impossible to remove. Plaque is a cluster of bacteria that is formed from the sugars and carbohydrates that we consume daily. The bacteria will feat on your gums and the tissues around your teeth.

If you fail to clean large quantities of plaque off your teeth, you will start to form gingivitis, as the plaque irritates the gums. If you do not take care of your gum disease in this stage, it will advance to periodontitis, which is the severest of all gum disease. Once you have periodontal disease, you will be looking at bone loss, tooth loss, and a severe infection that rages on until it is handled.

When periodontitis eats away at your gums and teeth, you will eventually form pockets in the gums. The further down the pockets go, the more advanced the disease is. Eventually, the pockets will become too deep and the bacteria will have its way with the bone in your jaw.

Patients that need to have a deep cleaning may already have bone loss. If you have not experienced it yet, you are at a higher risk for developing bone loss. If you think that bone loss has occurred, you will receive an x-ray to determine how much is lost and where at. The x-ray also allows Dr. Bien to see your teeth and any uninfected tissues, so she can correctly treat your mouth.

When a patient has healthy gums, there is a visible piece of the tooth beneath the coronal and the entire root is buried within the bone. When gum disease is present, only a partial root is buried and this indicates there is bone loss. Once your tooth is mobile, this means there is no bone there and the tooth needs to be removed. It cannot be saved at this point. A diseased tooth will infect other teeth in the same vicinity.

Get a Periodontal Evaluation Today

When you visit our Fremont office for a periodontal exam, you will be examined by a trained hygienist, who will measure the pockets that are present around your teeth. The pockets will be individually measured to give us an idea of whether you have gum disease and how much of an issue it is.

If gum disease is present, you will not have a cleaning performed on your teeth and you will be recommended for a deep cleaning. Patients who have pockets of more than 3 millimeters will not have their teeth cleaned the same day. While 3 millimeters does not indicate that bone loss has occurred, it does mean that a deep cleaning is needed to prevent the possibility of bone loss from occurring.

For your initial evaluation, your teeth will be measured in six different places using a small probe. The probe has markings on it that indicate the measurements. This probe is placed into the gums is see how deep they are. The further down the probe goes, the deeper the pocket.

Patients with pockets that are four millimeters in depth are considered to have gingivitis. Depths of five millimeters is considered gingivitis. Depths of six millimeters or more is periodontitis.

You will need to have a deep cleaning should your pockets be more than three millimeters. Your mouth may be numbed for the measurement to ensure that it does not hurt when the readings are taken. The process is not supposed to be painful, but it may make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you have an active gum disease infection.

If you need to have a deep cleaning performed, you may be given an anesthetic to help ease any discomfort. You can expect your visit to last about an hour. Once the procedure is over, you will not need to take any medication, as there should be no pain.

Recommended Treatments


Arestin is a type of medication that will be prescribed by Dr. Bien if you have pockets of 6 millimeters or more. The medication works to eliminate the infection and bacteria that is present in your mouth. Arestin comes in small pellets that are placed directly into the pockets.


This is a prescription mouthwash prescribed to you by Dr. Bien. You should use this mouthwash for at least a week, sometimes 10 days. The mouthwash is designed to fight the bacteria that is present in your mouth and it will destroy the surface of the bacteria cells.

Come in Today for an Appointment

If you think you have gum disease or you have been told you need a deep cleaning in Fremont, call Greenhills Dental Care today. Dr. Bien is ready to look at your mouth and determine how advanced your gum disease is and then offer you a treatment plan to cure it and fight the infection. Call Greenhills Dental Care today to discuss your options and to schedule your appointment with Dr. Bien.

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