A healthy set of teeth and gums can signal that a person takes care of their health. And indeed, your dental hygiene can be a mirror of your overall health. But sometimes, gum disease or cavities can sneak up on you. In this case, a dentist may recommend a periodontal cleaning.

So how does periodontal cleaning work? Is it the same as deep cleaning? In this post, we’ll discuss what those terms mean and when periodontal cleaning can become necessary.

What Is Periodontal Cleaning vs Deep Cleaning?

Essentially, periodontal cleaning is synonymous with deep cleaning. While a regular cleaning procedure removes tartar and buildup from the surfaces of the teeth, a deep cleaning is done below the gumline. This is why it’s also referred to as a periodontal cleaning.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the first step towards preventing tartar and dental plaque formation. Plaque is a film that collects on the teeth and gums. When bacteria mix with saliva and food particles and collect on teeth surfaces, they can build up in layers. This accumulation can lead to periodontal disease. Plaque hardens into tartar over time, which can even occur below the gumline where you can’t reach it. Inflammation of the gums can result, known as gingivitis. Left untreated, this can turn into periodontitis, an infection that can cause dangerous complications.

Since tartar is so hard, getting rid of it on your own isn’t possible. It requires specialized tools to remove, particularly if it has accumulated deep below the teeth. So, a dentist might recommend a periodontal cleaning.

How Dentists Do Periodontal Cleaning

The procedures involved are scaling and root planing. Both are integral to the process and are performed over multiple visits.

Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from the tooth under the gums. The dentist uses manual or ultrasonic instruments to remove tartar and pockets of bacteria.

After that, they smooth the lower, rougher surfaces of the teeth so that bacteria and plaque don’t easily adhere to them. This is root planing. The dentist descends deep below the gums, polishing and smoothing the surfaces, which may involve removing layers around the root and underneath the tooth enamel. These layers of cementum and dentin lie below the tooth enamel.

After finishing the procedure, the dentist flushes and cleans the area. They may also prescribe pain medication or medicated toothpaste, or rinses. This will help during the recovery period, reducing swelling and keeping the area clean until it can heal and healthy tissue can form.


Hopefully, this post has given you some insight into how periodontal cleaning works. A professional periodontal cleaning can restore your gum health by promoting proper gum tissue growth and eliminating bacterial deposits.

With over 13 years of combined experience, Hermosa Dental uses the most advanced technology to perform safe and comfortable dental procedures for all of our patients. We’re open on weekends and offer convenient and affordable appointments. If you have any questions or concerns, we’d be happy to help you. Call us at (713) 695-3040 for our East Little York location, (832) 427-1797 for our Highway 6 location, and (281) 747-7004 for our Porter, Tx location.

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