Is Deep Cleaning Teeth Painful?

Is Deep Cleaning Teeth Painful?

Table of Contents


Dental deep cleaning is one of the most effective ways to Keep Healthy Oral Microbiome and prevent gum problems and diseases. The most exciting thing is that this treatment can even help brighten teeth to some extent.

The benefits of dental deep cleaning are so great that you should not doubt it for a moment. However, few people take regular measures to scale their teeth. The main reason patients avoid deep cleaning is the concern about the pain of scaling. Why lie?! It is better to know that although the dental deep cleaning itself does not have any pain, under certain conditions, you may experience pain.

If you are constantly postponing it because of your perception of the pain of dental deep cleaning, stay with us until the end of this practical article from Dr Sanaz so that you can act with full knowledge of it.

Is Deep Cleaning Teeth Painful? 01

Understanding techniques

deep cleaning is usually done using a handheld ultrasonic scaler or a handheld scaler. An ultrasonic scaler uses high-frequency vibrations to loosen and remove plaque and tartar. In contrast, a manual scaler uses a scraping motion. Both methods are effective, and the choice of tool depends on the dentist’s opinion and the patient’s specific needs.

Does dental deep cleaning hurt?

Suppose you go to an experienced and skilled dentist for scaling. In that case, he will adjust the power of the deep cleaning machine according to the sensitivity of your teeth, so it is doubtful that you will feel pain. 

In cases where subgingival deep cleaning is required, there may be a slight burning sensation, which again is nothing to worry about as anaesthesia will be used on your gums. 

Therefore, tooth deep cleaning is generally a non-invasive and painless method and is much easier than routine dental treatments such as tooth filling and denervation.

  However, some factors can affect the level of discomfort experienced:

  • Inadequate skills of the dentist: If the dentist who performs deep cleaning does not have enough experience and skills, he cannot adjust the deep cleaning device correctly and perform deep cleaning according to the needs of the patient’s teeth. As a result, the patient will feel pain and sensitivity during deep cleaning.


  • Lack of oral and dental hygiene: People who do not use toothbrushes and floss regularly have sensitive and inflamed gums. They may even suffer from gum disease. In this case, during scaling, due to the sensitivity of the gums, they will burn and, in some cases, bleed.


  • Sensitive teeth: You should know that gum diseases (which are taught in the “How To Cure Swollen Gums?/ Home Remedies” article so that you can prevent gum problems with home remedies) and teeth grinding ( to get rid of this involuntary habit, read the article “How To Get Rid Of Bruxism Forever?” is recommended), inflammation of the gums and the use of solid whitening products make your teeth susceptible to allergies. 

In this situation, the patient may feel some pain and sensitivity during tooth scaling, which has nothing to do with the deep cleaning process itself and is related to the sensitive structure of the tooth.


  • Anxiety and tension: Not all causes of discomfort during tooth cleaning are physical, and stress and tension can play an essential role in the perception of pain. The fear of dental methods, known as dental anxiety, can make you hyper-aware of any sensation and make a routine dental cleaning extremely painful.


  • Exposure of nerve endings: Another cause of discomfort during tooth deep cleaning can be the exposure of nerve endings as a result of gum recession, cavities or tooth cracks.  Receding gums is a complication that, if not prevented, can lead to serious problems, which is discussed in the article “Fainting Origen: Why are my Gums Receding?” All its causes have been explained in detail so that you can prevent receding gums by knowing these reasons.

But if for any reason you have contracted it and your gums have receded, the article “Treatment For Gum Recession: What Are Your Options?” It will save you.

When these sensitive areas come into contact with dental instruments, water or air during tooth cleaning, they can irritate the nerves and cause discomfort or severe pain.


Deep tartar build-up: Excessive tartar build-up (hardened plaque), particularly below the gum line, can make the tooth cleaning more aggressive and potentially lead to discomfort. Deep tartar build-up often occurs when a person does not visit regularly for scaling, which makes the current deep cleaning session heavier and more intensive.


Anyway, what?

After scaling, it is expected to experience some temporary sensitivity, especially if you have sensitive teeth or gums. This pain usually subsides within 24-48 hours. You can control sensitivity using a soft toothbrush, washing with warm salt water and avoiding hot or cold foods and drinks.

Is Deep Cleaning Teeth Painful? 02
  • Pain management options

Fortunately, there are several ways to manage discomfort and dental pain during deep cleaning:

  • Local numbing gel: This gel is applied to the gums before the procedure to numb the area and reduce sensitivity.


  • Local anaesthetic injection: In cases of significant sensitivity or anxiety, the dentist may administer a local anaesthetic injection to completely numb the teeth and gums.


  • Nitrous oxide: Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is inhaled through a mask and has a soothing effect, reducing anxiety and pain perception.


  • Distraction techniques: Listening to music, watching a movie, or talking to the dental team can help distract patients from the procedure and minimize discomfort.


  • Communication with the dentist: It is essential to discuss your concerns and ideas with the dentist beforehand. They can assess your needs and suggest the most appropriate pain management options for a comfortable experience.


What awaits you after deep cleaning teeth :

After deep cleaning ultimately, the condition of the gums and teeth depends on the amount of plaque, the length of time these plaques have been in the mouth (how long has it been since the last time you had scaling), and your oral hygiene and health of your gums. 

If there is little calculus on the teeth and the gums are almost healthy, there will be very little gum and tooth sensitivity after dental calculus removal, and the condition will be resolved quickly. But if the gums have a disease, depending on its severity, different degrees of gum and tooth sensitivity and bleeding from the gums, will be experienced. 

Your dental professional may recommend a hypoallergenic toothpaste to help alleviate these discomforts. You may also use prescribed mouthwashes after the procedure to help keep the gums healthy and clean. 

But suppose you return to your regular oral and dental hygiene routine after the method. In that case, your gums will recover quickly and return to their natural colour and appearance.

Is Deep Cleaning Teeth Painful? 03


Almost all patients who visit the dentist for deep cleaning ask, “Does deep cleaning teeth hurt?” We must say no if we want to answer this common concern in one word. 

deep cleaning is a simple outpatient procedure that, in most cases, does not even require anaesthesia. However, in cases where there are problems such as tooth sensitivity, gum disease, lack of oral and dental hygiene, and the dentist’s inexperience, the patient may feel some pain and discomfort during scaling. 

However, a competent dentist will deep cleaning teeth and gums without discomfort and sensitivity. In the end, it should be mentioned that plaque accumulation on the teeth and under the gum line will cause tooth decay and gum diseases over time, which will cause far more pain and discomfort (compared to minor discomfort caused by plaque removal) for a person. 

Related: “How Do I Know What Kind Of Toothache I Have?

So don’t let the mental stereotypes you have about dentistry and deep cleaning pain stop you from doing this practical, simple and preventive dental treatment.

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Author and specialist

Dr. Majid Zahrabi,


  • Board Certified Neurosurgeon
  • DHA certificate holder
  • Plantation certificate holder, France
  • Certified holder of Discogol, France
  • A pioneer in the non-surgical treatment of disc herniation in the Middle East and CIS countries.
  • Under the training and coaching of Professor Jacques Theron (founder of Discogel Therapy) since 2008
  • More than 400 successful cervical and 1300 lumbar discogel injections
  • Trained and certified several neurosurgeons and spine surgeons in the Middle East and CIS countries for the treatment of Discogel
  • Strong belief in patient-centered care planning and participation
  • Neurosurgeon and spine surgeon at Imam Khomeini and Amir Mazandarani Hospital, Sari, Iran, with more than 430 surgeries annually, 2000-2011
  • Neurosurgeon and spine surgeon at Farmaniyeh, Nikan and Yas Sepid Hospital, Tehran, Iran, with more than 400 surgeries annually, 2011-2012
  • Neurosurgeon at Iranian Hospital, Dubai, 2022-2023
  • Since 2015, he has been working as a reference doctor for the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with Discogel and has trained many doctors of spine-related specialties in various countries of the Middle East and CIS in person/practically and online.



  • Individual training sessions under the direct supervision of Professor Jacques Theron in Discogel treatment, 2008-2020
  • Training sessions under the supervision of Professor Thierry Boye on spinal implants, 2007
  • Participation and presentation in several national and international medical and neuro-spinal conferences
  • Board certificate by Iran Neurosurgery Board, 2001
  • Neurosurgery assistant training course, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran, 1996-2001 (In 2001, he graduated from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences with the first rank in the country.
  • His thesis the titled:The Application of human amniotic membrane in repair of dura matter in dogs.” ( It was happening for the first time in the world. )
  • General medical education, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran, 1984-1993


Published books:

  • CT scan of the brain for doctors
  • Etiology and treatment of painful spine disorders
  • Atlas of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of spine disorders
  • The most common mistakes in the treatment of spinal disorders
  • Reading brain CT scan in simple language (3rd place in the book of the year)
  • Treatment of head and spine injuries

Publications and articles:

  • Bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects of DISCOGEL® (https://www.researchgate.net/)
  • Muscle recovery, reduction of pain, and improvement of movement strategies in patients with lumbar discopathy after injection of Discogel.
  • The article on the initial results of the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with discogel injection, which won the second-best poster rank at the Pan Arab International Congress of Interventional Radiology (March 14-16, 2015) and was accepted for presentation at the Chicago Pain Congress.
  • The use of human amniotic membrane in dura mater repair in dogs, a study for the first time in the world.



  • Annual Congress of Physiotherapists of Iran, 2019
  • Chicago International Pain Congress, 2019
  • Iran International Pain Management Congress, 2018
  • Annual Congress of Physiotherapists of Iran, 2018
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Armenia for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2017
  • First Live Workshop and Seminar on Minimally Invasive Disc Therapy (DISCON), 2017
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Azerbaijan for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2016
  • Seminar of Iranian official managers, 2016
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Tajikistan for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2016
  • International Neurological Intervention Congress in Iran, 2014
  • Educational seminar for nurses on treatment approaches for head and spine trauma, 2014
  • Educational seminar for general practitioners on treatment approaches for head and spine trauma, 2014
  • Speech at the Retraining Seminar for General Practitioners and Specialists in Dubai (Discon) in 2017
  • Speech in the internal retraining courses of Irani Hospital, Dubai
  • Holding lecture sessions and practical workshops on the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with discogel injection in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Oman, and Armenia during the years 2015 to 2021.
  • Giving a lecture and holding a practical workshop for neurosurgeons in Vietnam at Ho Chi Minh City University in 2023

Dr. Majid Zohrabi started treating his patients in Dubai in 2022 and continues his activities in private medical centers in the UAE.