Common experiences after Scaling and Root Planing

  • Discomfort: After this procedure your gums may be slightly sore and irritated for a few days. If you experience any swelling, stiffness, or discomfort you can place a cold compress on the affected area and take some pain relieving medicine.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: Teeth may be sensitive to temperature changes and/or sweets. This sensation frequently occurs when the surfaces of the roots of your teeth have been cleaned. Removal of the debris covering the roots leaves the roots open to temperature stimulus. The sensitivity to temperature may be intense at first, but usually diminishes quickly. If the problem persists, please let us know.
  • Bleeding: Some slight bleeding may occur during the next several brushings. The bleeding should steadily decrease after two or three days.
  • Appearance: Root surfaces may be more exposed as the swelling of the inflamed gum tissue goes away. This may result in more open space between teeth, and your teeth may appear elongated.
  • Recession of the gums after treatment: After healing occurs, there may be gum recession that exposes the margin or edge of crowns or fillings, increases sensitivity of teeth, and creates aesthetic or cosmetic changes in the front teeth, resulting in longer tooth appearance and wider inter-proximal spaces. These wider inter-proximal spaces are more likely to trap food.

What to do after Scaling and Root Planing Treatment

  • If you received local anesthetic today: Please be careful until you have full feeling back in your mouth before chewing or drinking. The numbness should wear off in about 4 hours. You may experience some discomfort at the injection site or in the muscle. This discomfort does not usually last for more than a few days, during that time an over the counter pain reliever of your choice can be taken.
  • If you received Laser Therapy today: Rinse your mouth with warm salt water (¼ teaspoon salt to 4 ounces of warm water).  Rinse for 1 minute in duration, 2 times a day for three days following your Laser Therapy treatment.
    • No flossing for three days after treatment
    • Do not use an oral irrigator for 3 days after Laser therapy treatment; on the fourth day start using the oral irrigator on the low and then slowly build up the pressure to no more than half way
    • Follow an alkaline/anti-inflammatory diet for the next 6-8 weeks to promote healing
  • Diet: If extensive root planing was performed, chewing hard foods, such as meat or raw vegetables may be uncomfortable. A diet of a softer consistency is advisable until chewing becomes more comfortable.
  • Smoking/ Tobacco use: Tobacco is an irritant to any healing. Refrain from tobacco use for 6-8 weeks is recommended.
  • Warm Salt Water Rinse: Rinse your mouth with warm salt water (¼ teaspoon salt to 4 ounces of warm water). Rinse for 1 minute in duration, 2 times a day for three days following your Scaling and Root Planing treatment.
  • Oral Hygiene:
    • Brush, floss, and use other periodontal cleaning aids as you have been instructed. It is important that you begin establishing proper oral self-care habits immediately. If you find that the recently treated areas are sensitive to the brushing and flossing, be gentle, but be thorough! This may take a little more time than normal. With proper technique you cannot damage the teeth or gingival tissues.
    • Use the oral irrigator with the periodontal attachment as instructed.
    • Use the periodontal cleaning aids as you have been shown.

Follow-Up Care:

Please return in 6 weeks for a prophylaxis (regular cleaning). During this time, your periodontal tissues will be evaluated for the expected improvement and effectiveness of your oral self-care and to determine the possible necessity of further periodontal treatment. This appointment will include re-probing the periodontal tissues.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (952) 956-6700.