Deep Cleaning (Scaling & Root Planing) Instructions
Dentist in Columbia, MD
Your lips, teeth, cheek and/or tongue may be numb for several hours after the procedure. To avoid injury, you should avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue, cheek or lip while you are numb.
Sore Gums or Jaw
Irritation to the gum tissue can occur from dental work. Rinsing your mouth 2-3 times per day with a warm saltwater rinse (1/2 tsp salt mixed with 8 oz. of warm water) can help alleviate discomfort. Injection sites can be sore for several days after your appointment. Over-the-counter pain medications work well to alleviate the tenderness.
Bleeding While Brushing/Flossing
You may encounter some bleeding while brushing and flossing. It is important to continue gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush and flossing, even if bleeding occurs. As healing progresses, the bleeding will gradually reduce or disappear.
I Now Have Spaces Between My Teeth
After removal of plaque and tartar buildup, it is common to have spaces between your teeth and gum tissue. Some spaces may appear as “black triangles” near the gum area, whereas other spaces may separate the teeth. Flossing and brushing regularly will keep the spaces from building up with plaque and tartar.
Normal healing results in some tissue tightening and shrinkage which may expose more tooth structure leading to sensitivity to cold, hot or sweets. This is a common side effect and usually diminishes with time.
What To Do for Sensitivity
Continue to brush and floss to remove plaque bacteria that produces acids which contributes to tooth sensitivity. Brushing with a “sensitivity toothpaste” will help alleviate the sensitivity over a 2-4 week time frame. If the sensitivity lasts longer, contact the office and special fluoride rinses or toothpastes may be prescribed.
The Next Step After My “Deep Cleaning”
Normally, 6-weeks after your “deep cleaning” (scaling & root planing), you will be brought back to the office for re-evaluation of the pocketing. At this time, we will recommend the time frame of your subsequent periodontal cleanings, called “periodontal maintenance” or supportive periodontal therapy. These cleanings are usually performed 4 times per year and are important to prevent re-infection and possible tooth loss.
Please do not hesitate to contact our dental office if you have concerns.