Post‐Op Instructions

Scaling and Root Planing (SRP) can be a necessary procedure in order to resolve periodontal disease and inflammation. Most patients experience little or no postoperative discomfort. The most frequent complaints are slight tenderness of the gums and tooth sensitivity to cold drinks and foods. Here are some helpful reminders.

  1. Be careful eating while you are numb. Hot foods and drinks – such as soup, pizza, coffee and tea – can seriously burn your mouth. Also, it is easy to bite your tongue and lip while numb.
  2. Use warm saltwater rinses (1 tsp. salt per 8 oz. of water several times per day for up to one week). This is soothing and promotes faster healing.
  3. Take an anti‐inflammatory pain reliever, if needed. In most cases, ibuprofen (Advil) will be enough to control discomfort.
  4. It is imperative that you floss and brush daily. Brushing and flossing daily helps to remove plaque and debris from between your teeth. This is crucial in fighting periodontal disease.
  5. Refrain from smoking for 24-48 hours after the procedure to ensure healthy healing of gum tissues.
  6. In the healing phase after the completion of SRP, the gums will ideally begin to tighten, shrinking the periodontal pockets. Swelling, redness and inflammation will also resolve. As things heal, this tissue tightening/ healing may expose more of your tooth roots than you are accustomed to seeing. This is normal.


Tooth sensitivity is common after treatment and usually resolves within 1‐2 weeks.

  • Avoid ice cold drinks and foods while teeth are sensitive.
  • Brushing two to three times daily with sensitivity toothpaste will reduce cold sensitivity. Try using Crest for Sensitive Teeth® or Sensodyne®.
  • Fluoride rinses like Act® may reduce sensitivity and fight cavities.
  • In rare instances, cold sensitivity may persist.

Please be sure to give Coastal Dental Arts a call at 619-822-2919 if any tooth sensitivity or discomfort persists. Our team will be sure to set up an appointment with Dr. David Chotiner to resolve the issue. Our dental team in San Diego, California, is committed to providing quality dental care for all of our patients.