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why does deep teeth cleaning hurt

by:Golden Promise     2023-06-17

Why Does Deep Teeth Cleaning Hurt?

As much as we all love having healthy teeth, the idea of going through a deep teeth cleaning procedure can be quite intimidating. Deep teeth cleaning or scaling, as it is commonly known, involves removing plaque and tartar buildup on teeth and under the gum line to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other related dental problems. Unfortunately, this procedure can be quite painful for some people. In this article, we will explore the reasons why deep teeth cleaning hurts and what you can do to make the process less uncomfortable.

What Is Deep Teeth Cleaning?

Deep teeth cleaning is a dental procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar buildup on teeth and under the gum line. It's also known as scaling and root planing and is usually performed by a dental hygienist. During this procedure, the hygienist will use a range of dental instruments like scalers, curettes, and ultrasonic devices to remove the buildup around and under your teeth.

Reasons Why Deep Teeth Cleaning Hurts

1. Gum Sensitivity

One of the reasons why deep teeth cleaning can be painful is due to gum sensitivity. When the hygienist is cleaning your teeth and gums, they use a lot of pressure to remove tartar buildup. This pressure can cause inflammation of your gums and cause significant pain. If you have receding gums or have had gum disease in the past, the sensitivity can be even more significant.

2. Dental Instruments

The dental instruments used by the hygienist can also cause discomfort during deep teeth cleaning. For example, the scaler is used to remove tartar buildup on the teeth. It can cause gum irritation and sensitivity when it comes into contact with the gums. Similarly, the ultrasonic device used to remove plaque and tartar buildup under the gum line can create a vibrating sensation that can be uncomfortable.

3. Sore Teeth

The teeth themselves can also be sore during deep teeth cleaning. This is because when plaque and tartar buildup is removed from the tooth surface, it can expose layers of the tooth that are usually protected. These layers can be sensitive to air, cold water, and other stimuli, which can cause significant discomfort.

4. Delayed Appointment

If it's been a while since your last dental appointment or scaling, the buildup on teeth and under the gum line can be quite significant. This buildup can make the deep teeth cleaning procedures even more painful and uncomfortable. Therefore, it's essential to schedule regular appointments with your dentist and hygienist.

5. Anxiety

Fear or anxiety over the deep teeth cleaning procedure can also make it more painful and uncomfortable. If you're tense and anxious during the cleaning, you are more likely to feel the pain and discomfort. Therefore, it's important to practice relaxation techniques and talk to your dental team about sedation options.

Ways to Make Deep Teeth Cleaning Less Painful

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

The best way to make deep teeth cleaning less painful is to practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and use an antiseptic mouthwash every day to remove plaque buildup. Doing this will make deep teeth cleaning easier and less uncomfortable.

2. Take Pain Medications

If deep teeth cleaning is particularly painful for you, talk to your dentist about taking pain medication before your appointment. Taking over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help alleviate pain and inflammation before, during, and after the deep teeth cleaning procedure.

3. Sedation Options

If you experience severe anxiety, your dentist may offer sedation options. Sedation can help you relax during the procedure and decrease the amount of pain you feel.

4. Better Communication

Improve communication with your hygienist about how you feel during the procedure. If something is particularly painful or uncomfortable, let your hygienist know so that they can make adjustments to reduce your discomfort.

5. Break Up the Procedure

If you have an extensive buildup on your teeth and gums, the deep teeth cleaning procedure can last a long time. Ask your hygienist or dentist to break the procedure into a few shorter sessions instead of one longer one. This can help minimize the pain and discomfort during the cleaning procedure.


Deep teeth cleaning is a critical procedure to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental problems. However, it can be quite painful and uncomfortable for some people. If you're one of these people, talk to your dentist about ways to make the deep teeth cleaning procedure less painful and more comfortable for you. By practicing good oral hygiene, taking pain medications, and communicating with your hygienist, you can minimize the pain and discomfort of scaling and maintain your oral health.

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