Scaling and Root Planing After Care
Scaling and root planing usually takes multiple appointments to complete, as we normally treat one quarter to one half of the mouth at one appointment. Most of the time it is necessary to anesthetize the teeth and gums for this procedure.
To help soothe the area, rinse with warm salt water two to three times a day. Use ½ teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water. Use all prescriptions, if prescribed, as directed. For discomfort, take one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every three to four hours, or two to four Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) 200mg tablets (400-800mg) every six hours.
After scaling and root planing, avoid eating anything on the area that received treatment for two hours or until the dental anesthetic has worn off completely. Doing so will help to avoid injury to the tongue, cheeks and lips. Avoid “chippy” hard foods like tortilla chips, potato chips, popcorn or seeds for the next several days. Smoking should be avoided for at least 72 hours following these procedures.
Resume your home care regimen of brushing and flossing twice daily immediately after treatment, making certain to be gentle with the area involved. Your gum care must be maintained with proper home care as instructed and regular dental visits.
You may experience some cold sensitivity, which is normal. Any sensitivity should go away in a few weeks. If needed, you can use desensitizing toothpastes, such as Crest Sensitivity, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief or Sensodyne. Avoid toothpastes with whitening or baking soda, as this will increase the sensitivity.