Caring for your gums after scaling & root planing

What to expect after a deep cleaning procedure and how to maximize healing while minimizing discomfort.

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Will it hurt after?
Most patients have minimal to slight discomfort after going through a deep cleaning appointment. If present, this typically resolves within 48-72 hours. It is somewhat common to experience more tooth sensitivity after a deep cleaning, as the gums begin to heal the shrink, exposing more tooth root surface which can be sensitive.
What can I take for pain?
For mild discomfort, we recommend taking ibuprofen as directed on the box. For more severe pain, a combination of ibuprofen (Advil) with acetominephen (Tylenol) following the directions for use on the box. Taking these together provides better pain control than with narcotics.
Should I use a mouthrinse?
A warm, saltwater rinse can help keep the gums clean and speed their healing. Listerine is generally not helpful in managing gum disease. If you were prescribed a prescription mouthrinse, use it as directed.
How long will I be numb?
You can expect to be numb for 2-3 hours after completion of your procedure. Be careful not to bite or burn yourself during this time.
Do I need antibiotics?
Antibiotics are not indicated or helpful for all but the most severe forms of gum disease. The cleaning procedure itself is treatment of the infection present.
Do I need to avoid anything?
We recommend avoiding particularly crunchy food items for the first 72 hour. These can become lodged in the healing gum pockets and slow the healing process.
What else do I need to do?
Focus on habits! With your hard deposits removed by this procedure you have been given a clean slate on those teeth. You will get the maximum benefit from a great brushing, flossing, Waterpiking habit starting now.