Tooth sensitivity following scaling and root planing is very normal. It is usually related to the surgical cleaning, but can also be related to inadequate plaque removal. It is very important to be very meticulous with your plaque control procedures.
While most patients experience very little discomfort or symptoms after scaling and root planing, exceptions can occur. If you have moderate discomfort the soreness can increase for two to five days after the scaling and root planing and can linger longer. Most discomfort can be controlled by 600-800 mg (3-4 tablets) of ibuprofen taken every 6 hours as needed. Be sure to take all pain medications on a full stomach or with meals to minimize nausea.
Do not be concerned if traces of blood are noted in the saliva for several hours after the procedure. If heavy bleeding occurs, apply direct pressure to the area using moist gauze or a moistened, standard tea bag for at least 45 minutes. It is critical that you remain seated and inactive while applying pressure to control bleeding. If continuous, excessive bleeding occurs, please contact the office.
Meticulous oral hygiene should be instituted at least twice a day after the scaling and root planing. Gentle rinsing after meals with a solution of one teaspoon of salt to one 8 oz. glass of warm water will often be soothing to the gums and help with healing. Rinsing helps flush out the debris which collects around the teeth.
After you have completed your scaling and root planing or surgical procedure, regular cleanings are no longer completely effective. The American Dental Association refers to post-scaling and root planing cleanings as periodontal maintenance. These periodontal maintenance visits are not considered regular cleanings due to the nature of disease control. Your doctor may recommend that you come in for a periodontal maintenance four times a year (every 3 months) so that we can actively monitor and control your gum disease.
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