Deep cleaning is usually provided by a periodontist (gum specialist) or dentist. Special instruments are used to carefully and thoroughly scrape tartar, or calculus, from your teeth, both above and below the gum line. Root planing involves smoothing the root of the tooth. This gets rid of bacteria that are gathered there and smooths out any roughened areas that might harbor bacteria in the future.
During this procedure, your periodontist or dentist may apply antibiotics to the gum area in a further effort to get rid of bacteria. This can be done through antibiotic gels, microchips, or a microsphere that has been treated with antibiotics, or by sliding a tiny fiber of antibiotic-treated thread between your teeth.
American Academy of Periodontology.
Gum disease: what you need to know. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at:
Updated May 2011. Accessed July 27, 2011.
American Dental Association. Periodontal (gum) diseases. American Dental Association website. Available at:
Updated January 2011. Accessed July 27, 2011.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at:
http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/GumDisease. Updated March 2011. Accessed July 27, 2011.
Last reviewed September 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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