Aftercare Following Periodontal Surgery

You may experience some discomfort after Periodontal treatment when you drink cold liquids or eat cold foods. This sensitivity is the most common complaint after root planing and is due to removal of tartar and a minute amount of tooth root surface. Any sensitivity should gradually go away in a few weeks; however, in some cases, the sensitivity can take longer to go away. In rare cases, some permanent sensitivity results. You may do the following to minimize any of these inconveniences:

  • Try to avoid really cold liquids and foods and spicy food for a few days or more after the scaling and root planing is performed. If needed, you can use desensitizing toothpastes, such as Sensodyne® to help reduce the sensitivity.
  • Take an over-the-counter analagesic such as ibuprofen before your local anesthesia wears off. Later, you can take the same medication if you have any tenderness of the gums. If you must avoid these analgesics because you are already taking NSAID's, are allergic to them, or you have ulcers, then you may take paracetamol. Please follow dosage recommendations on the product labels.
  • You may rinse with warm salt water as often as you wish after 24 hours. Stir no more than 1/4 teaspoonful of table salt and 1/4 teaspoonful of baking soda into a cup of warm water to use as your rinse solution, this will help soothe any gum tissues that may be tender after the root planing procedure. Alternate between this and Chlorhexidine (Corsodyl mouthwash 0.2%).
  • It is important to maintain good plaque control to promote optimal healing after scaling and root planing or surgical therapy.
  • You may also gently massage the areas treated with your washed fingers. This will increase circulation and promote healing.
  • Long-term maintenance - Once you have had your course of ‘deep cleaning’ you will still need to have regular hygiene maintenance appointments, usually at 3-4 month intervals. This is so that we can remove any deposits and try to prevent them from causing further problems to the gums.