Why Are My Teeth Sensitive After Cleaning?

This blog post will address the question, “why are my teeth sensitive after cleaning?” and cover topics like what is a dental cleaning, when do you need a dental cleaning, what to expect during your dental cleaning, benefits and disadvantages of dental cleaning and oral hygiene care after dental cleaning.

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive After Cleaning?

Your teeth are sensitive after cleaning due to the exposed root of the teeth which was earlier covered with a thick layer of tartar, causing gums to recede.

Deep dental cleaning removes the plaque and tartar build-up from the roots of the teeth, thus exposing them to cause sensitivity and sometimes pain and soreness in the gums.

It is thus normal for your teeth to be sensitive for a week after dental cleaning.

What Is Dental Cleaning?

Dental cleaning also called as dental scaling or teeth scaling is a routine procedure done by your dentist or dental hygienist to remove the hardened plaque called tartar from your teeth that can’t be removed from normal brushing or flossing.

It is recommended that you visit your dentist or dental hygienist twice a year and get a dental cleaning done for good oral health and overall health.

When Do I Need A Dental Cleaning?

You may need a dental cleaning if you show following symptoms:

  • Yellowish deposition of tartar on teeth
  • Black deposition on teeth due to tobacco consumption
  • Halitosis or bad breath
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Loosening of the teeth due to tartar deposition and periodontal disease
  • Bone loss 
  • If you are a frequent smoker or consume tobacco any form
  • Pain and sensitivity due to trapping of food in the gaps developed between the teeth due to poor oral hygiene or periodontal disease.

Dental cleaning can prevent periodontal disease and its associated symptoms. It may also prevent tooth loss and cavity formation. 

Therefore, it is recommended to get dental cleanings done twice a year with a gap of 6 months between two dental cleanings.

What To Expect During Your Dental Cleaning?


  • Complete oral examination to detect any inflammation or decay.
  • To confirm if the process of dental cleaning can be started.


  • After analyzing the condition of your oral cavity, a dental hygienist or a dentist will begin the scaling process.
  • Scaling involves use of a scaler and a mirror.
  • Using a scaler, plaque and tartar are removed.


  • After cleaning the teeth, polishing is done using an electric brush or granular toothpaste to make the teeth look more aesthetic.


  • The final step in dental cleaning is rinsing your mouth with fluoride water.
  • The fluoride helps to create a protective layer over the enamel and make the teeth stronger.

After all the above steps, your dental hygienist or dentist may prescribe you an antibiotic and will recommend you to brush twice a day and floss once daily.

What Is The Benefit Of Dental Cleaning?

Dental cleaning has several benefits like:

  1. Halts the progression of gum and periodontal diseases
  1. Removes tartar and prevents initiation of periodontal infection
  1. Prevents halitosis or bad breath
  1. Helps maintain good oral hygiene and prevents tooth loss
  1. Prevents formation of pockets between teeth and gums
  1. Protects infection of the tooth and root
  1. Prevents tooth decay and cavity formation

Are There Any Disadvantages Of Dental Cleaning?

Dental cleaning might have following disadvantages but they are very rare and temporary:

  1. Gingival recession
  1. Trauma to the soft tissues (if scaler not handled with care)
  1. Trauma to the incisal edges due to poor handling of scaler
  1. Nerve damage in rare cases
  1. Tooth infection in rare cases
  1. Persistent pain and sensitivity 

Oral Hygiene Care After Dental Cleaning

Choose An Appropriate Toothbrush

Choosing an appropriate toothbrush is the first and most important step towards toothbrushing. Yet, this is neglected by most of the people.

Toothbrushes with more rounded bristles are soft to your teeth and are considered to be an ideal toothbrush to use. 

Do Not Immediately Brush after Eating Acidic Foods

You must wait for 30 minutes to one hour after consumption of acidic foods and drinks. The acid in the food or drink otherwise may erode the enamel layer and regular habit may cause exposed dentin leading to pain and sensitivity and increased risk of developing cavities.

Use Gentle and Short Strokes When Brushing Your Teeth

Use gentle, short strokes to brush your front teeth and thoroughly clean your mouth without abrading the enamel.

Brush the outside surfaces as well as the back molars and upper areas of your chewing surfaces. Brush the inside surfaces of both top and bottom front teeth by flipping your toothbrush upside down.

Brush your tongue to get rid of any bacteria or plaque.

Use A Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride can greatly help achieve oral and dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. 

Fluoride reduces the amount of acid produced by the bacteria on your mouth. 

Floss Daily To Get Maximum Benefits Out Of Tooth Brushing

Many people, despite knowing the benefits of flossing daily, just neglect it.

According to a study, flossing is highly effective in reducing the interproximal caries risk. 

Daily floss can help stimulate your gums and reduce plaque leading to lesser inflammation risk.

Consider Mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwashes as the name suggests have therapeutic action and control dental conditions like gingivitis, tooth decay and periodontal diseases. They also help remove halitosis.

Therapeutic Mouthwashes contain ADA listed active ingredients such as fluoride, peroxide, essential oils, cetylpyridinium chloride, and chlorhexidine, all regulated by the FDA.

See Your Dentist At Least Twice A Year

It is important to get your oral health checked twice every year with an interval of 6 months between two visits.

Your dentist can help remove calculus and locate cavities and will also be able to spot potential oral health issues, if any, and offer treatment solutions.


This blog post addressed the question, “why are my teeth sensitive after cleaning”. We understood what a dental cleaning is, when do you need a dental cleaning, what to expect during your dental cleaning, benefits and disadvantages of dental cleaning and oral hygiene care after dental cleaning.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Why Are My Teeth Sensitive After Cleaning?

Can dental cleaning weaken teeth?

No, dental cleaning cannot weaken teeth. Enamel is the hardest part of the body and simple scaling tools will not weaken it.

However, persistent bad oral hygiene, over-brushing teeth vigorously for longer periods and brushing just after acidic foods and drinks may create pores on the enamel leading to weakened teeth.

Is it bad to get your teeth cleaned too often?

No, it is not bad to get your teeth cleaned every 3 months or twice a year with a gap of 6 months. Dental cleaning can help in removing the plaque and tartar and thus prevent decay or gum disease or periodontal disease of any type.

Why do my teeth feel weird after a cleaning?

After a dental cleaning, your teeth feel weird because of teeth sensitivity. The generalized teeth sensitivity and roughness felt in your mouth makes you feel weird after a dental cleaning, which is quite normal.

Generalized teeth sensitivity is due to the exposed root of the teeth after scaling which was earlier covered with a thick layer of tartar, causing gums to recede.

Can dental cleaning cause gum recession?

No, dental cleaning does not cause gum recession. Gum recession is caused due to gum disease or periodontal disease, that develops due to plaque and tartar deposition on and in between teeth.

Tartar deposition for a longer period causes gums to recede but you don’t see it as the exposed root is covered by a thick layer of tartar. After dental cleaning, the exposed root becomes noticeable giving you a notion that dental cleaning has caused your gums to recede.

Dental cleaning actually helps in removing tartar and healing the receded gums.

How long does tooth sensitivity last after cleaning?

Tooth sensitivity may last for about a week after cleaning. It is normal to experience pain and soreness in your gums along with teeth sensitivity.

Your dentist may prescribe you an antibiotic or a mouthwash for relief from the symptoms of deep cleaning.


Why are Your Teeth Sensitive after Cleaning? | Colgate®


Disadvantages and Advantages of Deep Cleaning Teeth. (2020)


Teeth cleaning damage your teeth? Risk vs benefit


What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning? – Healthline. (2018)


Kobayashi, D., Takahashi, O., & Shimbo, T. (2019). Frequency of daily tooth brushing and development of any type of malignancy. Anticancer research, 39(8), 4415-4421.

Hujoel, P. P., et al. “Dental Flossing and Interproximal Caries: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Dental Research, vol. 85, no. 4, Apr. 2006, pp. 298–305, doi:10.1177/154405910608500404.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!