Your normally scheduled dental cleaning should not cause you pain. However, there can be complicating factors.
Inflammation in the gums, tooth decay and other symptoms of oral disease can lead to increased sensitivity. This can cause pain when prodded during the cleaning process.
However, if you have sensitive teeth or gum disease, you may experience some discomfort during the cleaning. It’s important to communicate with your dentist or hygienist if you experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
What is teeth cleaning?
Teeth cleaning is a procedure that involves removing plaque, tartar, and other buildup from the teeth and gums. A dental hygienist will use special tools, such as a scaler and a polisher, to clean your teeth thoroughly.
The procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the level of buildup and the condition of your teeth and gums.
Why dental cleanings may hurt so much
Teeth cleanings shouldn’t typically hurt, but there can be a few reasons, which may include different health conditions, why someone may experience discomfort during or after the cleaning. Here are a few possible explanations:
- Gum disease/ periodontal disease: If you have gum oral disease, your gums may be more sensitive and prone to bleeding during the cleaning, which can cause discomfort.
- Tooth sensitivity: If you have sensitive teeth, the cleaning may cause discomfort or pain, especially if the hygienist uses cold water or air during the cleaning process.
- Aggressive cleaning: If the hygienist uses too much pressure or is too aggressive during the cleaning, it can cause discomfort or pain.
- Previous dental work: If you have dental work such as fillings or crowns, the cleaning may be more uncomfortable due to the pressure on those areas.
If you experience discomfort during a teeth cleaning, be sure to communicate with your dental hygienist. They may be able to adjust their technique or use a numbing gel to help alleviate any discomfort.
Additionally, maintaining good oral hygiene at home can help prevent future discomfort during cleanings.
Factors that may affect discomfort
Discomfort during teeth cleaning can vary from person to person, and can depend on various factors. Some of the factors that may affect discomfort during teeth cleaning include:
- The level of buildup on the teeth and gums: If you haven’t had a teeth cleaning in a long time, or if you don’t practice good oral hygiene habits, you may have a lot of buildup on your teeth and gums. This can make the cleaning process more uncomfortable.
- Your anxiety levels: If you’re anxious about the cleaning process, you may feel more discomfort than someone who is relaxed. It’s important to communicate your anxiety to your dental hygienist so they can take steps to help you feel more comfortable.
How to minimize discomfort
There are several things you can do to minimize discomfort during teeth cleaning. Here are some tips:
- Practice good oral hygiene habits: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy. The healthier your teeth and gums are, the less discomfort you’re likely to experience during teeth cleaning.
- Use desensitizing toothpaste: If you have sensitive teeth, using a desensitizing toothpaste for a few weeks before your cleaning can help minimize discomfort.
- Take deep breaths: Deep breathing can help you relax during the cleaning process, which can reduce discomfort. Take slow, deep breaths and focus on your breathing throughout the procedure.
Teeth cleaning is an essential part of maintaining good oral health, but it doesn’t have to be a painful experience.
By following the tips above and communicating with your dental hygienist, you can minimize chances of pain during a professional dental cleaning.