The Disadvantages of Deep Cleaning Teeth: Debunking Misconceptions

The Disadvantages of Deep Cleaning Teeth: Debunking Misconceptions

Deep cleaning teeth, also known as scaling and root planing, is a vital dental procedure for treating gum disease and maintaining oral health. While it offers numerous benefits, there have been misconceptions about the potential disadvantages associated with this treatment. In this article, we will address these alleged cons and shed light on the truth behind them.

What is Deep Cleaning?

First, let’s understand what deep-cleaning teeth actually is. Sometimes patients require more than just a regular dental cleaning to address their oral health issues that are present below the gumline. If left alone, food and bacteria can get stuck between the defects in the root surface and cause periodontal disease, aka gum recession.

Deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a potential solution that involves the removal of deposits of calculus (hardened plaque) and biofilm from the root surface of teeth. This will allow your teeth to properly stick to the gums and tissue surrounding them. Many studies have shown that completely removing this debris below the gum line calculus can positively reduce gum inflammation and irritation.

Like all dental procedures, there are certain cases where deep cleaning is useful and certain cases where it shouldn’t be used. However, this procedure is completely safe and has very few side effects. The most common concern for should patients should be the cost and whether they actually NEED the treatment or not.

So what are the potential cons of deep cleaning?

Alleged Cons

Gum recession

Deep cleaning teeth is used to prevent or combat gum recession. In fact, delaying treatment allows gum disease to progress, leading to more severe gum recession in the long run. While undergoing the deep cleaning process may appear to cause minor gum recession after a procedure, they are usually the result of leaving plaque and tartar unremoved for an extended period.

Nerve damage

Some people claim that deep cleaning teeth can cause nerve damage. However, this is highly unlikely as the nerves are located deep within the center pulp of the tooth and are not reachable even if all your gum were to disappear magically. Nerve attachment is limited to the root tip (known as the apex of the tooth), an area inaccessible during scaling and root planing. To access the nerves of a tooth, a dentist would have to either drill through the tooth, drill through bone, or pull the tooth out altogether. None of these will occur during the deep cleaning of your teeth. Deep cleaning targets plaque and tartar buildup, not affecting the nerves.


In a very technical sense, all procedures have some risk of infection. However, deep cleaning teeth is a very sterile and safe procedure with minimal risks. The likelihood of developing an infection after deep cleaning teeth is highly unlikely. Even in the case where an infection does develop, it can typically be easily treated with antibiotics.

Pain During the Procedure

Undergoing a deep cleaning procedure is not painful. Patients are provided with a local anesthetic to help eliminate any discomfort. This means that it is highly unlikely to experience any pain during the deep cleaning procedure. If a patient experiences even the smallest amount of pain, a dentist will be able to apply more or different types of anesthetic to eliminate any discomfort completely.

Pain and Sensitivity After the Procedure

Following the procedure, there may be some minor tenderness and inflammation. This is due to two possible reasons. Firstly, like all procedures, the manipulation of tissue during the deep cleaning process can cause some tenderness, however, this usually subsides in less than one week. Secondly, sensitivity is often a result of prolonged exposure to plaque and calculus buildup, which covers the enamel and reduces sensitivity. Removing these deposits, the teeth regain sensitivity, which is actually necessary for proper oral care. Rest assured, any sensitivity you feel is temporary and can be managed through the use of specific products designed to reduce sensitivity.

Deep Cleaning Advantages

Deep cleaning teeth offers numerous advantages, particularly for individuals diagnosed with gum disease or periodontitis. Some of the key benefits include:

Treating and Stopping Gum Disease

Deep cleaning is effective in halting the progression of gum disease. It eliminates bacteria and infection, promoting healing and preventing further damage to the gums and surrounding structures.

Eliminating Gum Infections

The procedure eradicates gum infections by removing plaque and tartar buildup both above and below the gum line. This aids in restoring optimal oral health.

Removing Plaque and Tartar

Deep cleaning teeth thoroughly remove plaque and tartar, preventing further deterioration of the gums and supporting structures. This helps maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Reducing Bad Breath

Deep cleaning can alleviate bad breath, commonly associated with gum disease. By eliminating bacteria and infection, it addresses the underlying causes of halitosis.

Preserving Peeth

The procedure helps prevent tooth loss caused by advanced gum disease. By maintaining the health of the gums and periodontium, it safeguards the stability of the teeth.


Deep cleaning teeth is a safe and effective procedure that can help restore gum health, reduce bad breath, and improve oral hygiene. It eliminates plaque and tartar buildup, preventing further damage to the gums and surrounding structures. The procedure is relatively painless, with any sensitivity experienced post-treatment being temporary in nature. Deep cleaning an essential part of preventative oral care and can help preserve the stability of your teeth. Consult with your dentist regularly to ensure optimal oral health.


The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be substituted for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nothing on this website constitutes the practice of medicine, law or any other regulated profession.

No two mouths are the same, and each oral situation is unique. As such, it isn’t possible to give comprehensive advice or diagnose oral conditions based on articles alone. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best dental care possible is to visit a dentist in person for an examination and consultation.


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