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Post-Operative Instructions for Scaling & Root Planing

Follow these instructions for at-home care after your scaling and root planing procedure:

Scaling and root planing is a nonsurgical treatment for periodontal disease (gum disease). The purpose of this procedure is to remove tartar and plaque from on your smile and under your gumline, which is cause serious health issues, including bone loss. This treatment produces clean, smooth teeth and tooth roots, which promotes healing of the infection that caused your gum disease. Plus, it makes it more difficult for plaque to collect under the gums in the future.

After treatment, avoid eating or chewing on the affected area for at least 2 hours, or until your numbness has worn off. You should also be sure to avoid hard foods like chips, popcorn, seeds, and any other crunchy items.

To help manage any discomfort, rinse your mouth 2 to 3 times a day with a teaspoon of salt mixed into warm water. In some cases, you may be prescribed Peridex/Chlorhexidine, which you should use as directed.

Be sure to resume your at-home oral healthcare routine by brushing twice a day and flossing daily right away. However, be gentle with the recently treated area of your gums. Proper dental hygiene at home as well as routine visits to our dental office are the most important ways you can maintain the health of your gums after scaling and root planing. Be sure to avoid smoking or other tobacco products for at least 24 to 48 hours after your procedure—tobacco delays the healing process.

Take the pain medication we give you as prescribed, however you can also take Ibuprofen or Tylenol if you have medical issues or allergies that prevent you from taking other medication.

It’s completely normal to experience some sensitivity to cold. However, this sensation should gradually go away in a couple of weeks. If necessary, you can use desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, or Crest Sensitivity. Avoid using whitening toothpastes or baking soda because these items will increase your sensitivity. Additionally, it’s vital to visit our dental office at least every 3 to 4 months for follow up periodontal appointments.

If you ever experience consistent discomfort or swelling after your scaling and root planing, contact our dental office for instructions and possible treatment as soon as possible.