After Your Scaling and Root Planning


It is normal for your gums to feel sore or tender after scaling and root planning. If local anesthesia was used you may feel stiffness in your jaw when opening. We recommend rinsing twice daily for a few days with warm salt water to speed healing and reduce inflammation. Dissolve approximately ¼ teaspoon salt in an 8 ounce glass of warm water. You can also take 2-3 200 mg tablets of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) every 4-6 hours as needed for comfort and anti-inflammatory effect.


It is also common for your teeth to be sensitive to cold and/or hot foods and liquids following scaling and root planning. Using a sensitivity toothpaste can help reduce temperature sensitivity.


For a few days after your deep cleaning avoid small, hard foods, such as popcorn, nuts, or seeds, that can get caught under the gum tissue. It is possible to develop a gum abscess if these foods are trapped under the gums as they heal. If you notice a small white or yellowish “pimple” on your gums, please call us.


Please refrain from smoking for a minimum of 24 hours following scaling and root planning. Tobacco smoke is an irritant to healing. It is very important to continue with regular homecare (brushing and flossing as normal) to speed healing of the gum tissue and prevent infection. Following scaling and root planning treatment you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding, and less swelling  of your gum tissue. Your mouth will taste and feel better. Your gum health can now be maintained with proper homecare and regular professional care.


If you have and questions or concerns please call our office.