How Long For Gums to Heal After Deep Cleaning

  • Half of Americans aged 30 and older suffer from gum disease. Discovering how the early stages of this infection proceed gives us time to treat our dental issues and introduce professional methods to get the health of our teeth back to normal.
  • Appropriate oral hygiene is the first and most crucial step to keep our mouth health at its best. Professional dental experts consider deep cleaning the first line of defense against periodontitis (severe gum disease). 
  • After dental treatment of deep cleaning, some bleeding and swelling may occur. In addition, teeth are likely to be more sensitive, as their roots have recently been exposed. You may have a dental sensitivity for about a week. You can be prescribed pain medication, antibiotics, or rinse while you heal to prevent infection and control pain;

Development of periodontitis

You can notice that you’re dealing with gum disease when you have:

  • red, 
  • receding, and 
  • sensitive 


Also, if you see pockets forming between your gums and your teeth, it may indicate this problem. 

If you allow bacteria to flourish, it can cause gum disease or periodontal disease. 

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, about 64.7 million Americans have periodontitis (a scientific name for gum disease).

Here is how it goes:

When you have a mild case of gum disease, bacteria build up around your gums, leading to gingivitis (periodontal disease). As a result, you may experience inflammation and bleeding.

If you leave this dental issue untreated, periodontal disease develops into periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. 

Preventing gum disease

To early prevent gum disease from developing, follow these pieces of advice:

  1. Continue brushing your teeth at least twice a day. 
  2. Use a tongue scraper.
  3. Use a toothbrush with a tongue and cheek cleaner and a flexible head.
  4. Use an antimicrobial dental mouth rinse.
  5. Use toothpaste made to prevent gum disease prescribed by a dentist. 
  6. Every day, at least once, clean between your teeth and beneath your gumline with interdental brushes or water flossers.

Luckily, deep cleaning treatment is highly effective in reversing the early stages of gum disease. 

What is deep cleaning?

Gum disease causes a space or gap between your teeth and gums. As a result, tartar and plaque become trapped inside. 

Cleaning below the gum line removes this buildup and brings your mouth situation back to normal. 

Deep cleaning is a professional dental procedure where dentist smoothens the roots by removing the infection and tartar. It allows your gums to recover health around the teeth. 

Deep cleaning is also called the scaling and root planing procedure.

The scaling and root planing aim to deep clean the teeth, from the crowns to the roots surfaces. 

What makes a deep cleaning procedure different from routine teeth cleanings?

  1. Regular cleaning removes plaque and tartar from above the gumline. 
  2. Deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar from below the gumline.

Deep cleaning usually takes place over two or more visits. Each visit can take 1 to 2 hours. 

When you’re preparing your daily schedule, consider that gums and teeth need some time for recovery after you treat them with deep cleaning.

Your dentist may use a local anesthetic to numb the area of your mouth they are cleaning. 

Important: Before you decide on a treatment, schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist to assess the size of the pockets between the teeth and gums. It will help assure that you don’t develop a gum infection after deep cleaning.

What happens after deep cleaning?

After a deep cleaning, you could experience discomfort and pain in your mouth for a day or two and teeth sensitivity for up to a week; 

Your gums also may be swelling, bleeding, and feel tender, especially for the first few hours following the appointment.

It takes, on average, from 5 to 7 days for the gums to heal and get tightened after a deep cleaning.

It’s crucial to take good care of oral hygiene after the procedure. 

Remember to follow recommendations from your dental professional. Also, be careful about what you eat and how you brush your teeth until the end of the healing process.

There are foods that dental professional expect patients not to eat after the procedure, as they could interrupt the healing process, 


  1. acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes, 
  2. challenging foods like steaks or large burgers;

Tip: As a rule of thumb, avoid foods or drinks that are hot, cold, or sweet throughout the entire healing process.

After the procedure, your dental professional may prescribe antibiotics to eliminate any infection from your mouth.

Relieving pain after deep cleaning

How to relieve pain after a deep cleaning? There are a couple of free rules to follow: 

1. Before the treatment, your dentist will administer laughing gas or a local anesthetic to numb the area. 

2. After a deep cleaning, you can take pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

3. Gargle a warm saltwater solution or rinse your mouth with antimicrobial wash for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 3 times a day to reduce swelling and inflammation. To do it, mix about a teaspoon of sea salt in a glass of warm water. Rinsing is not swallowing! 

Important: Overuse of rinsing with salt water can damage the enamel and lead to more problems, so do it wisely.

4. Don’t eat hard foods and foods that require a lot of chewing. They can increase pain and discomfort.

5. To minimize sensitivity and tenderness, use desensitizing tooth paste (for example, ones that contain potassium nitrite)

6. Be strict with your oral hygiene routine. Prevent bacteria build-up as it can cause increased pain and lead to infection. Brush every tooth carefully, thoroughly, and don’t use too much force.

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Frequently Asked Questions

After deep cleaning, gums pull away from teeth, making many people anxious. The good news is that, although it brings some discomfort, it's only temporary. Gums pull by about one millimeter after scaling and root planing. After this gum recession after the treatment, gums reattach with time during the healing process.
After deep cleaning, you may feel your teeth got loose and are likely to fall out. Before, plaque and tartar buildup used to fill the pockets in your gums, making your teeth feel more stable than they really were. After removing the buildup, your teeth may feel more wobbly. Yet, we assure you that the feeling doesn't translate to your teeth actually falling out; it's just a sensation. It’s just the opposite; the purpose of a deep cleaning procedure is to prevent the teeth from falling out. Keep in mind that gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
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