Scaling & Root Planing – Aftercare

After your scaling and root planing appointment

Scaling and root planing are very important techniques for cleaning the root surfaces of teeth. It is imperative that all debris including the hard tartar is removed from the root surface so that the gums can regain their health. Following a scaling appointment you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding and less swelling of your gums.


Discomfort and pain
Not all cleaning appointments are painful. At times, we need to clean deep down the root surfaces. In these situations, there may be some mild discomfort for a few hours after the appointment. Many patients have their gums “frozen” to decrease their sensitivity during scaling treatments. If the gums are badly inflamed or the gum pockets are very deep, the discomfort may last for a few days. You may have some discomfort brushing and flossing your teeth for a few days following the appointment.


It is important to continue to clean your teeth even if there is some mild pain.
You can use an anti-inflammatory such as “Advil” or an acetaminophen containing compound such as “Tylenol”. If you require any stronger medication please contact our office.


Dental freezing or local anaesthetic
If local anesthetic or dental freezing was used, avoid chewing in the area until the feeling returns.

Tooth sensitivity
Removing the debris covering the tooth roots exposes these newly-cleaned roots to the contents of one’s mouth. Teeth may be sensitive to temperature changes or sweets for a few days. If tooth sensitivity persists, please contact our office. We can recommend a desensitizing tooth paste or apply a desensitizing agent to the affected root surfaces.

Some slight bleeding may occur during the next several times you brush, but the bleeding should steadily decrease over the next two or three days. We find that patients who present with bleeding gums will experience this post-treatment problem.

Cleaning teeth and roots is designed to eliminate swollen, inflamed gum tissue. As swelling of the inflamed gum tissues decreases, root surfaces may be more exposed and spaces may appear between your teeth; this is normal and not a danger to your teeth or gums.

Eating and diet
If extensive root planing was done, chewing hard foods such as meat or raw vegetables may be uncomfortable, but this should only last a few days. A soft diet would be advised until chewing becomes more comfortable.

Oral hygiene
It is very important to continue to clean your teeth and gums. Regular brushing and flossing will remove debris and allow the gum tissue to heal quickly. If debris accumulates on the root surfaces, you will not gain the maximum benefit from your cleaning.



If symptoms persist, are severe, or if an abscess or gum boil appears, please call the office immediately.