It can be shocking to hear from your dentist or see your treatment plan and learn that you need a “deep cleaning,” known as an SRP. SRP stands for Scaling and Root Planing. What does this mean? This meanings that you need a cleaning that extends to below the gum line.
During every check up, measurements of your tissues around each tooth are made. If you have multiple measurements of tissues above 4mm long, you need a deep cleaning. With tissue measurements longer than 4mm, this means you have deep pockets, and may have bone loss. Within these deep pockets lies “calculus,” which is hardened plaque attached to the tooth, causing problems to occur. Such problems can include inflammation, redness and bleeding in the gums, bone loss, and tooth decay.
When encouraged to receive an SRP, it is important to understand the risks of not receiving the deep cleaning:
- Bone Loss
- Bone loss leads to a higher chance of your teeth becoming loose.
- Gum Disease / Infection
- Bacteria present on your teeth and below the gums leads to the occurrence of gum diseases, such as periodontitis and gingivitis, as well as infections. Both gum diseases and infections damage the teeth, causing decay. Also, gum diseases and infection can spread to other systems in the body, such as the heart or brain.
- Tooth Decay
- The longer an SRP is not performed, the longer the calculus can damage your teeth below the gum line. Without its removal, your teeth are more likely to start feeling sensitive and/or painful because the exposure of the nerve from decay.
- Tooth Loss
- Deep pockets and calculus buildup can ultimately lead to the loss of teeth. Keeping up with your dental cleanings can eliminate this risk.
- Aging Effects
- With bone loss due to deep pockets and calculus buildup, your face may start appearing “sunken” and your jawline will become less and less sharp.
- Overall Health Changes
- There is research available to you showing correlation between gum disease and buildup of calculus to other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.
The benefits of SRPs includes:
- Reversing signs of gum disease
- Depending on your dental needs, you may only need 1 SRP in order to get back on track with your oral health. Regardless of your SRP needs, keeping up on your dental cleanings will help stop and potentially reverse gum disease symptoms. Read our blog about gum disease: https://www.serenitysmiles.com/blog/oral-health-topics/gum-disease-what-you-need-to-know/.
- More Attractive Smile
- If your smile teeth have visible plaque or red gums, a deep cleaning will help you gain confidence and show a healthier smile!
- Decreasing Inflammation, Redness, and Bleeding
- Keeping up with SRP cleanings actively reduces your symptoms associated with calculus below the gum line. If you receive your timely cleanings and floss at home, your gums will rarely bleed or hurt. Read our blog on how to floss and its benefits: https://www.serenitysmiles.com/blog/dental-floss-or-water-flosser/.
- Better Breath
- Your breath will improve after removing the bacteria present on your teeth and below the gums.
- Improving your Overall Health
- Keeping up with your dental cleanings will help your overall health as the bacteria present in your mouth can reach the rest of your body and the blood stream.
Make sure to schedule your deep cleaning so you can get your oral health back on track! If you have any questions, ask your dental hygienist or dentist.
Here is another great blog about the difference between regular cleanings and deep cleanings: https://www.rsfdentist.com/our-blog/2017/7/1/what-are-deep-cleanings-and-why-is-the-srp-so-misunderstood.