Is Dental Cleaning Painful?

Reviewed on 5/21/2021

A dental cleaning is typically a painless procedure because there is no cutting or injecting involved
A dental cleaning is typically a painless procedure because there is no cutting or injecting involved

A dental cleaning is typically a painless procedure because there is no cutting or injecting involved. In some cases, the doctor may drill a tooth if there is a small cavity and put some filling or a sealant. In such cases, there may have tooth pain for a day or two and some teeth sensitivity as well. If there is tartar in the teeth, then the dentist will scrub and remove it. In this case, there may be some bleeding and gums may get swollen for a few days.

Dental cleanings can be uncomfortable if a person does not floss frequently, and there is lots of tartar and discoloration over the tooth. Flossing does a lot of plaque removal job. If a person does not floss, the dentist has to scrape harder to remove deposits from the teeth, causing unpleasant sensations over the teeth.

How often should you go for a dental cleaning?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a person should regularly go for dental visits and cleanings. The exact frequency for dental cleanings has not been determined by the ADA. As each person has different needs for teeth cleaning, one blanket recommendation isn’t suitable for everyone. Hence, talk with a dentist regarding the dental cleaning and polishing appointments.

The ADA recommends that people who are at high risk of gum disease should get more frequent cleanings done than low-risk people. These especially include those with diabetes.

Why should you go for a dental cleaning?

Dental cleaning is essential to prevent the formation of plaque and tartar. Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that coats the teeth. Tartar is a hard, crusty deposit that forms over the plaque. It can trap stains and cause tooth discoloration. Plaques and tartar can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Some of the benefits of regular teeth cleaning include

  • Cavity prevention: The bacteria present in the plaque eats away the enamel in the teeth. Enamel protects the teeth from cavities. So, without enamel, cavities develop and the bacteria enter the next tooth layer. A dental cleaning removes the plaque and thus, destroys the bacteria.
  • Tooth loss prevention: When the plaque forms below the gum line, it tends to create a gap between the gum and teeth. If left unattended, they can cause the teeth to fall out. Regular dental cleanings ensure that there are no gaps formed.
  • Brighter smile: Teeth get stained by tea, coffee and tobacco. Dentists use a special polish to scrub away stains caused by food, drink and smoking. As this polish is much coarser than the typical toothpaste, a person will notice an immediate brightness of teeth after a dental cleaning.
  • Reduces bad breath: Bacteria in the mouth are responsible for bad breath. A plaque indicates that the mouth is full of bacteria. So, regular cleaning ensures that the bacteria are eliminated completely and thus, reduces bad breath.
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease: Some studies show a strong connection between gum disease and heart disease. Regular cleaning prevents gum diseases and the risk of heart diseases.
  • Reduced risk of some cancer: A recent study found that severe gum disease is associated with an elevated risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer.
  • Reduced risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes: People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease. Also, studies have shown that people with gum disease have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Besides, people who brush thrice every day have an 8 percent lower risk of getting diabetes compared to people who brush twice a day (3 percent).

Thus, it is recommended by dentists for most patients to get their teeth cleaned once every six months or twice a year.

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References
Mouth Healthy. Scaling and Root Planing. American Dental Association. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/scaling-and-root-planing

Mayo Clinic. Dental Exam. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dental-exam-for-children/about/pac-20393728

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