A patient needs a deep cleaning when:
- Excessive bleeding of the gums
- There is bone loss surrounding their teeth
- There is subgingival tartar underneath their gums.
A dentist can determine if a patient has bone loss/ needs a deep cleaning by measuring the spaces between their teeth and their gums, reviewing X-Rays, and by seeing if their teeth are loose. Anytime the space between your teeth and gums are more than 3mm and bleeding, the patient needs a deep cleaning. A dentist can also feel hardened plaque (called calculus) under their gums or can see calculus on X-Rays to determine if they need a deep cleaning.
A person that needs a deep cleaning has a form of periodontal disease. They can either have mild, moderate, or severe periodontal disease, based on the amount of bone loss they have. The symptoms of periodontal disease are bleeding gums, bad breath, and loose/sensitive teeth. People that have history of periodontal disease and bone loss may require normal cleanings 4 times per year, instead of the usual 2 times per year.