After Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

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Care of the mouth after deep cleaning has an important effect on healing. Symptoms that follow treatment need not cause alarm and may be minimized if the following post-operative instructions are followed carefully.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Following periodontal treatment, expect the treated area to be sore and tender to touch for 4-7 days. Swelling, discomfort, and bleeding may occur depending on the extent of the treatment and location in the mouth.


BLEEDING & SWELLING: The treated area may bleed and be tender when you clean your teeth. This is normal and expected, and should subside within 7-14 days. If you have any questions about plaque-control recommendations, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

SENSITIVITY: Commonly after gum treatment, the tissue shrinks and the root surface is exposed. This may cause sensitivity to hot, cold and sweets, which is normal. This sensitivity can be treated at home with over-the-counter anti-sensitivity toothpastes such as Sensodyne, or a prescription for fluoride. The fluoride can be prescribed to you in our office.

PAIN: If you feel that the pain and sensitivity is uncomfortable, you can take analgesics such as Advil (ibuprofen) or aspirin tablets, or other pain medication with which you are familiar. If you develop a rash or if you become nauseated, discontinue medication and contact our office.

ORAL HYGIENE: The treated area must be kept plaque-free with thorough brushing, flossing, and other recommended plaque-control devices or rinses. If treated area is not kept clean, the area may become infected and/or may not heal properly.

RECOMMENDED HOME CARE RINSES:   Warm salt water (1/2 tsp salt to 8 oz. lukewarm water) 4-6 times daily.  Or Chlorhexidine rinses (Peridex) 1 time daily in the evening. This can be prescribed to you through our office.

DIET: For the next 3 days, do not eat anything hot and spicy, or anything with nuts, seeds or popcorn. Try to stay on a softer diet for the next few days and do most of your chewing on the side opposite to the area that was treated.

SMOKING: AVOID SMOKING for at least six hours after treatment, since smoking is an irritant.


FOLLOW UP TREATMENTS: Deep cleanings or Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing are usually done in several appointments, as treatments are done on a section of your mouth at a time.  It is VERY important that this series of treatments be done in a VERY timely manner, i.e. every 1-2 weeks. If too much time is allowed to lapse between treatments, the effectiveness of the procedure is greatly compromised and the desired healing may not be realized. It is also extremely important that regular periodontal maintenance procedures are performed (usually every 3 months after the deep cleaning procedures are completed) to keep the periodontal disease under control and prevent relapse.


If you have any questions and/or concerns about your treatment, please do not hesitate to contact our office.  We will be more than happy to assist you.

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