So, you just had a deep cleaning (SRP) procedure done….

If a local anesthetic or a topical cream was used to thoroughly numb the treated area, take caution not to bite or chew on your cheeks, lips and/or tongue, for they may be numb for several hours following your appointment. Refrain from chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.

You just had a procedure that involved removing bacterial plaque and tartar from the root surface below the gum line with instruments and ultrasonic scalers. It may also involve removal of diseased tissue within the pocket with a laser. The goal of this treatment is to allow reattachment of the gums to the clean root surface and to shrink the periodontal pockets to levels that can be maintained by daily flossing and brushing. The following guidelines have been prepared for you in order to maximize healing and minimize any discomfort.

Some discomfort, swelling, and bleeding is normal following deep cleaning. A cold compress should be placed on your face near the treatment site for 20 minutes at a time, with 10 minutes off, the day of your periodontal therapy. This will reduce pain, swelling, and bleeding.

Eat on the opposite side for a few days. Consume a soft, nutritious diet and drink plenty of fluids.

You may experience some sensitivity and looseness of teeth. Sensitivity will improve over time with excellent home care and use of desensitizing toothpaste.

DO NOT smoke or consume alcohol for at least 48 hours. This will delay healing and may cause pain.

After 24 hours, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon in 8 oz. of water) two to three times a day. Also, if prescribed to you, please use chlorhexidine mouthwash twice a day.

Slight bleeding from the treated area is expected. Should the bleeding, swelling, pain, or fever gets worse, please call your dentist immediately!

You should keep your appointment for follow-up with your dentist and/or hygienist.

It is crucial to practice immaculate home care around the treated area and rest of your mouth to aid in proper healing. One week after the treatment, brush the treated area gently with a soft brush, being careful along the gum line. Flossing and use of proximal brush can be initiated in two to three weeks.

It is your dentist and hygienists’ desire that your experience be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have concerns and/or questions about your progress, please call your dentist’s office immediately!

We encourage you to speak up if you do not like or understand some aspects of your oral care. You deserve to be heard, and your dentist deserves the opportunity to listen. This is what most dentists do, and they will make considerable efforts to accommodate you.