After Scaling and Root Planing

Instructions for Scaling & Root Planing (SRP)


1. Pain Management:   Take 2 (222mg) Aleve every 12 hours; or 3 (200mg) Advil every 6 hours. If you cannot take NSAIDS; then take 2 Tylenol every 4-6 hours.

Scaling & Root Planing (SRP) was done in order to access, debride and clean the root surfaces of your teeth in a way not possible with a routine cleaning. The procedure is considerably more involved than a standard cleaning. It is normal to have soreness and increased bleeding for 2-5days after the procedure. Do not be alarmed if this is the case - it will resolve itself.  It is also normal to experience some discomfort from the injections, and your gums may be slightly sore and irritated for a few days.

2. Sensitivity:  Use Sensodyne or other “sensitivity” toothpastes.  It is also not uncommon to have some increase sensitivity - to hot/cold, or sweets – near the roots of your teeth. This will normally resolve in 2-3 weeks.  Sensitivity toothpaste will help the process.

3.  Salt Rinse:  (1/2 teaspoon salt to 8 ounces of warm water).  Rinse with warm salt water 2 to 4 times per day for up to one week.  Rinse for 1 minute in duration. This will help speed healing.  In the first 1-5 days after SRP, avoid the use of alcohol based mouthwashes. The alcohol can irritate healing tissues.

4. Diet:  Chewing hard foods, such as meat or raw vegetables may be uncomfortable.

 A diet of a softer consistency is advisable until chewing becomes more comfortable.

5. Brushing:  Brush gently for the first 1-3 days. Brush the gumline clean.  If you brush just your teeth (ignoring the gumline) you will miss the most important areas. Think gumline as you brush!

6. Healing:  In the healing phase after the completion of SRP, the gums will ideally begin to tighten, shrinking the periodontal pockets you have. Swelling, redness and inflammation should also resolve. As things heal, this tissue tightening/healing may expose more of your roots than you are accustomed to seeing. This is normal.

7. Follow-up Care:   We will normally see you more frequently (3-4 timers per year) during the first 12-18 months following SRP. This is done so to insure a complete and positive response to treatment. If warranted, and if things improve, we may lengthen your recall interval, or otherwise customize a cleaning schedule appropriate for your needs.


 Our goal is to insure a resolution of the disease process and prevent any additional deterioration of the gum tissue and bone that support your teeth. Feel free to ask us questions at any time during your periodontal treatment, or call the office to speak with someone.