The difference between a regular cleaning and a deep cleaning is the state of periodontal health, which is the health of the bone and gums that support teeth. The health of the bone and gums is directly linked to the amount of plaque and calculus/tartar that is depositing on your teeth.
When deposits are not removed, they start to increase in size and start to move under the gums. This causes an inflammatory response much like when you get a splinter in your skin. This response or localized infection cause the bone to move away from the irritant.
This ultimately causes bone loss and a periodontal pocket. This is a deep pocket around your tooth that is even more prone to entrapment of food and debris as bone loss continues.
A deep cleaning is necessary if calculus is detected under the gumline and there are signs of bone loss. A deep cleaning removes those deposits that form on the surface of the tooth’s root. The goal is to stop further loss and maintain healthy gingiva free of periodontal pockets and bleeding.
This helps with the stability of the teeth. After the initial deep cleanings, these patients are seen for periodontal maintenance visits which generally occur every three-to-four months due to risk of developing subgingival calculus one again.