A routine cleaning is an essential part of maintaining healthy gums. When gums are healthy and good home care is practiced by the patient, bacteria and tarter buildup between teeth is minimal. In this situation, a routine cleaning is all that is needed.
A deep cleaning—also referred to as “scaling and root planing”—is needed when bacteria and tarter buildup are more severe. Often as a result of the buildup, “pockets” develop between the teeth and gums, so a deep cleaning is required to clear them out.