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Do Dental Cleanings Hurt?

Do Dental Cleanings Hurt?

Professional dental cleanings prevent pain in the long term by eliminating stubborn plaque buildup in deep gum pockets and narrow spaces between teeth that you can miss while brushing. Regular dental cleanings are necessary to maintain oral health.

A routine dental cleaning is usually painless, but tooth decay, gum inflammation, and symptoms of oral disease can cause increased sensitivity during a cleaning. If too much time passes between cleaning appointments, bacteria have more time to accumulate and irritate your gums. 

At Hometown Family Dental Centers, our compassionate dental professionals provide routine cleanings, cavity repaircosmetic dentistry services, and more for patients of all ages. We also offer sedation dentistry at our offices in Fayetteville, Raeford, and Vass, North Carolina, so you don’t have to put off your next dental cleaning if you’re concerned about pain.

I’m worried about pain during a dental cleaning

Professional teeth cleaning is usually painless. Our highly trained hygienists work carefully to gently remove plaque from the surface of your teeth and the gum pockets. You won’t feel anything beyond a slight pressure on your teeth.

If you experience pain during a dental cleaning, this can be due to exposed tooth roots. Normally, the root is well protected under the gums. However, gum inflammation (gingivitis) or bacterial inflammation (periodontitis) can cause your gums to recede, exposing the root of the tooth. 

Tips to prevent pain during dental cleanings

If it’s been awhile since your last dental cleaning, these helpful tips can prevent or reduce discomfort during your next visit to our office.

Don’t overbrush

Avoid brushing your teeth too vigorously. Forceful brushing can damage your teeth and gums, making them more sensitive. Being too rough with your toothbrush can also cause discomfort during a dental cleaning. 

Ensure you're using the proper brushing technique — use a soft-bristled brush and gentle back-and-forth strokes — to reduce your sensitivity risk.

Appropriate toothpaste

Use toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. Desensitizing toothpaste has active ingredients that stop pain signals from traveling between the sensory nerves inside and the surface of your tooth. This protects a tooth’s nerve from hot and cold sensations. 

The benefits of desensitizing toothpaste need a few weeks to take effect, so begin brushing with this toothpaste before your next dental cleaning.


Take an over-the-counter pain reliever before your dental cleaning to help alleviate any discomfort. To lessen an inflammatory response, you can take it once more six hours after your appointment.

Good oral hygiene between visits

Receding gums may cause some discomfort during a dental cleaning. Prevent gum recession with good oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash. 

Dental cleanings improve oral health

You may be at risk for major oral health problems without realizing it. We review all risk factors during regular dental exams at Hometown Family Dental Centers to guarantee that you receive the required care to keep your mouth healthy.

We can resolve any number of dental issues easily if we detect them early. Delaying treatment enables dental problems to become much worse, and waiting too long between dental appointments may necessitate more invasive treatments, such as dental surgery.

Routine dental checkups are good for your overall health, too. Infections that start in your mouth can spread to other parts of your body. These infections may be life-threatening if left untreated.

Ensure that your teeth remain healthy by keeping up with your checkups and cleanings. Regular examinations can prevent minor dental issues from developing into serious ones. Call Hometown Family Dental Centers today to schedule your next dental cleaning.

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