dental deep cleaning side effects

Possible Side Effects:

  • Threatens Your Teeth
  • May Lead To Periodontal Diseases
  • May Complicate Other Healing
  • It Tends To Recurs

Our mouths normally have lots of bacteria. When they mix with other substances in the mouth, they form a sticky plaque on our teeth. Most of the plaque is banished by brushing and flossing our teeth regularly. However, plaque that is not cleared by brushing will harden and form tartar, a substance which only dental deep cleaning can remove. 

The Deep Cleaning Process

Deep cleaning is an established method of dental treatment and is also known as root scaling and planning. It is a specific procedure that can only be performed by a dental hygienist. Root scaling removes all the tartar and plaque below and above your gum line, going all the way down to the very bottom of your gum pockets.

Your dental hygienist can either perform deep cleaning using manual scaling tools or electric/ultrasonic instruments. The procedure is typically performed in two clinic visits, set about 2 to 3 weeks apart. On the first appointment, one side of the mouth is completed and on the second visit the other side.

Check out our post on how to clean your teeth like a hygienist.

What Are The Most Common Side Effects?

The aim of root scaling and planning is to halt the buildup of plaque and tartar. Once these have been cleaned out, the gums begin healing themselves and within 6-8 weeks, they re-establish the tight seal that surrounds your teeth.

Threatens Your Teeth

If you don’t receive adequate or professional teeth scaling, your teeth could become loose. It not only makes your gums tender and swollen but it could become could irreversible due to periodontitis. This allows the plaque to slowly creep back and cause inflammation. Root scaling and planning can also lead to bone loss. Additionally, you stand the risk of losing multiple teeth.

May Lead To Periodontal Diseases

Any deposition of tartar crossing the threshold limit of 3 millimeters is bound to raise some dental complications. The risk becomes very high if your grove depth passes this limit as your gum pockets could be affected by periodontal diseases. This happens when your gum pockets receive more plaque deposits than usual.

May Complicate Other Healing

Teeth scaling or deep cleaning may also raise some health concerns for people with heart or diabetic problems. In particular, if you are diabetic or even a smoker, generally you have reduced amounts of blood flowing to your gums. This reduces your gum’s ability to heal. 

It Tends To Recur

Once you undergo deep cleaning, it’s unfortunately, not likely to be your last time. It tends to go into remission and may come back largely depending on how well you take care for your newly cleaned teeth. In fact, the dentist could even ask you to come back more frequently for follow-ups—sometimes as frequent as every 3 months.


Sensitive teeth following deep cleaning should not be a major point of concern. This is easily managed not just by using the right dental products but by keenly watching what you are drinking and eating. If the symptoms last longer more than a couple of weeks, consider contacting your dentist.

Author: Peter Mayhew

Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.