Scaling and Root Planing: Postprocedure Instructions

  • When you have had scaling and root planing, or other more involved periodontal procedures, you can expect your gingival (gum) tissues to be quite sore. This is normal when the gum tissues have been infected and inflamed for some time. The more severely they have been affected, the more discomfort you can expect. This soreness should go away very quickly. You may rinse with warm salt water every few hours until the soreness is gone.
  • You may also notice that the teeth have become sensitive to temperature changes after the scaling and root planing. This sensation frequently occurs when the surfaces of the roots of your teeth have been cleaned. Removal of the debris covering the roots and attached to the roots leaves the roots open to temperature stimulus. If the problem persists, please let us know.
  • If you received local anesthetic today, please be careful until the numbness wears off and you have full feeling back in your mouth before chewing or drinking anything hot. 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. Keep in mind the discomfort can last for 3-7 days. If you experience any prolonged numbness or discomfort please call our office.
  • When you examine your gums closely in a mirror, you will also observe that the color, texture, and position of your periodontal tissues will undergo a change as the healing takes place. The swollen, reddened gum tissue will shrink, become more firm, and return to a healthy pink color. Watch for these welcome signs of improvement and be encouraged by the healing process.
  • Please do not forget to brush, floss, and use other periodontal cleaning aids as you have been taught. 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! With proper technique you cannot damage the teeth or gingival tissues.
  • Brush after every meal with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Rinse with a fluoride-containing mouthrinse once each day.
  • Use the oral irrigator with the periodontal attachment as instructed.
  • Use the periodontal cleaning aids as you have been shown.
  • Please return in 6 weeks for a 60 minute reservation. 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 reservation will include reprobing the periodontal tissues.
  • Because of your periodontal condition, we strongly recommend that you return for your next examination and periomaintenance reservation in 3 months.

If you have any questions about these instructions, please feel free to ask us.

Thank you.

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