Post Operative Instructions
Instructions Following Scaling & Root Planing

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1. When anesthesia has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb. Minimal discomfort is usually the norm following periodontal scaling and root planing. Use over the counter pain medication if needed unless otherwise prescribed. Swelling is usually minimal or not present at all.

2. It is not unusual for the teeth to be more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, and/or sweets. This occurs as the gum tissue heals and shrinks in size. Brushing two or three times daily with sensitivity toothpaste will help alleviate this over time.

3. It is normal for slight bleeding to occur during the first 24 hours. Warm salt water rinses can be used as often as needed for discomfort and speed of healing.

4. Smoking should be avoided for a minimum of 24-48 hours because it deters healing. In addition, smoking will stop the progress of healing from the scaling and root planing and make stable maintenance of periodontal disease difficult. Smoking cessation is highly recommended.

5. You may resume your regular diet as soon as the anesthetic is worn off. (Avoid hard/crunchy foods the first 24-48 hours).

6. Following scaling and root planing, you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding, and less swelling of your gum tissues. Your teeth may feel smoother, and your mouth will taste and feel better. Your gum health must be maintained with proper homecare, as instructed, and regular professional care.

7. To promote healing and to get the best possible results with treatment, begin oral hygiene measures such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing as instructed the evening of treatment.

8. Once scaling and root planing is completed, the maintenance appointments are essential for adequate healing and proper maintenance. When maintenance appointments are not kept, it is likely that patients will require another sequence of scaling and root planing.