Deep Cleaning Specialist

John H Ko, DDS -  - Cosmetic Dentist

John H Ko, DDS

Cosmetic Dentists & General Dentists located in Pleasanton, CA

Untreated periodontal disease puts you at risk of tooth loss, cardiovascular disease, and even stroke. Fortunately, John H Ko DDS has the experience and dental technology to treat even advanced periodontal disease at his office in Pleasanton, California. Dr. Ko uses a nonsurgical treatment called scaling and root planing to eliminate deep pockets of plaque and bacteria below your gum line. To schedule an appointment at John H Ko DDS, call or book online now.

Deep Cleaning Q&A

What is a deep cleaning?

A deep cleaning is more than a detailed cleaning of your teeth at the dentist. It’s actually a special treatment to prevent the recurrence of periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease. A deep cleaning removes built-up plaque and bacteria both above and below the gum line to prevent periodontal disease complications, such as bone and tooth loss.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that often starts as gingivitis — gum inflammation, redness, and bleeding gums. Without proper treatment, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, a serious infection in which pockets of bacteria and plaque form beneath your gum line. Over time, this bacteria releases toxins that destroy your tooth-supporting structures.

If you think you may have periodontal disease, watch out for the following symptoms:


  • Tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gum inflammation
  • Pain when chewing
  • Persistent bad breath (halitosis)
  • Shifting or loose teeth
  • Tooth loss


To prevent periodontal disease from worsening, Dr. Ko recommends coming in for routine dental cleanings and exams once every six months.

What happens during a deep cleaning?

During a deep cleaning, Dr. Ko uses a special dental instrument to measure the area surrounding your teeth. This instrument, called a probe, measures the depth of tissue between the gums and the teeth to see if you have pockets. If these pockets are five millimeters or more, then Dr. Ko cleans and disinfects them with a procedure called scaling and root planing.

Scaling and root planing eliminates plaque and tartar — a hardened type of bacteria that causes tooth discoloration — from the surface of your teeth and beneath the gum line. 

During scaling, Dr. Ko uses a special instrument to scrape bacteria from the surface of your teeth before inserting it beneath the gum line to remove any deep pockets of plaque. He makes sure to completely clean any plaque and bacteria to prevent reinfection of the gums.

Once he disinfects your gums, Dr. Ko begins the root planing process by smoothing the roots of your teeth to help them reattach to your gums. The entire deep cleaning typically takes one to two visits.

After your cleaning, Dr. Ko may recommend a special rinse to get rid of any potential plaque and bacteria on your teeth or gums.

If you’re ready to schedule a deep cleaning at John H Ko DDS, call the office or book a visit online now.