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Treating the Discomfort After Scaling and Root Planing

Posted on 1/27/2017 by Implant & Periodontal Associates NW
A woman about to receive a scaling and root planning treatment.
When gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, scaling and root planing are often the only procedures that can remove plaque and tartar buildup, and help your gums and teeth begin to heal.

But scaling and root planing is a more intensive procedure, one that can cause a significant amount of discomfort that lingers well after the procedure is complete. Here are a few ways to help ease the discomfort following a scaling and root planing procedure.

Limit Activity
Overexerting yourself following scaling and root planing can lead to swelling, bleeding and a significant amount of pain. For these reasons, limiting your activities is highly recommended for at least the first 24 hours.

Oral Pain Medication
If you do experience pain and discomfort, over the counter oral pain medication, such as acetaminophen, can help to alleviate it. Just be sure to avoid any aspirin containing pain relievers as they thin the blood and can lead to bleeding.

If you received a local anesthetic, you should avoid eating anything until the feeling has returned. Once it has, certain foods should be avoided for a while. Hard, crunchy foods can irritate sensitive gum tissue, causing you quite a bit of pain. A diet of soft, nutrient dense foods is best until the pain has subsided. For most patients, that timeframe is usually within a week.

Dealing with Sensitivity

Scaling and root planing can lead to the roots of your teeth being more exposed than normal. This can lead to discomfort, especially when you ingest very hot or cold foods and beverages. One of the best ways to deal with this sensitivity is by using a toothpaste containing potassium nitrite, a desensitizing agent.

Oral Hygiene is Important

Maintaining a proper oral hygiene while you heal is important. Otherwise, plaque and bacteria can build up and lead to the same problems that scaling and root planing were meant to put an end to. Brush carefully as to not irritate your gums. Rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash or salt water solution in order help kill bacteria and keep your mouth healthy.

Scaling and root planing can help stop periodontitis and allow your mouth to heal. While some minor discomfort is to be expected, it should subside within a few days. If you experience severe pain that lasts for several days, contact our office right away.

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Implant and Periodontal Associates Northwest

Uplake Professional Center
5723 NE Bothell Way, Suite C & D
Kenmore, WA 98028

Phone: 425.486.9111
Fax: 425.489.1923


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