Post Operative Instructions


(Also called "deep cleaning") is done to clean the roots of the teeth deep within the gum pockets to remove tartar, plaque, and other irritants that promote periodontal disease. The purpose of this procedure is to reduce the infection present in the gums.

After root planing, you may rinse with either:

A. warm salty water (1 teaspoon per 8 oz. water) OR

B. diluted Listerine mouthwash the day of the treatment. This may speed the healing process and reduce discomfort.

Use your proxabrush, floss, and a regular toothbrush at least twice daily, being sure to clean the area at the gum line especially well.

You may have slight bleeding when you brush and floss for up to 4 days. This is normal, so do not be alarmed. It is extremely important that your mouth and teeth be kept as clean as possible after the root planing treatment.

If you have discomfort, two tablets of Advil or Motrin every three hours should be helpful.

You may experience root sensitity to hot or cold for a period of time after root planing is done. This is due to the clean roots contacting hot or cold liquids.



The following suggestions and reminders will be beneficial to your postoperative progress and will aid considerably in promoting comfortable healing,  Please read the instructions carefully and follow the recommendations.


Some areas of the surgery may have been covered with a dressing or surgical pack; this is the pink/orange wax that may be covering your gum. The dressing provides a temporary bandage and serves to withstand of light chewing and tooth brushing. As healing progresses and the dressing hardens, it is not unusual for pieces to loosen and be lost without affecting the healing. Rarely is it necessary to be replaced.


Several different types of medications may have been prescribed, Take them as directed unless you feel there is an adverse  affect. Pain medications and sedatives may cause drowsiness or slowed reflexes, Do not drive an automobile or work near dangerous machinery while taking such medications.


1. Continue routine oral hygiene in areas not affected by the surgery.

2. If no dressing material has been placed, lightly brush the surgical area (unless it is a gum or bone graft-see below). Your toothbrush softened by hot water will aid in healing tissues when used gently to remove plaque. Tissues heal better in the absence of plaque. Therefore, good oral hygiene is essential.

3. If no mouth rinse was prescribed, use warm salt water (1tsp, dissolved in a large glass of water) and rinse every few hours beginning the day following surgery.

4. Smoking slows the healing process.


A slight amount of bleeding is not uncommon the day of surgery. If there is bleeding beyond this period, this can usually be controlled by:

1. Applying firm pressure with clean, wet gauze or tea bag to the edge of the surgical dressing at the area of bleeding.

2. Holding a strong solution of cold tea in your mouth until it reaches body temperature. Repeat several times.

3. Keep your head elevated with at least two pillows the night of surgery.

4. Vigorous rinsing may increase bleeding. Rinse gently.


Some swelling is to be expected following periodontal surgery. The amount varies with every patient and with the extent of the surgery. Applying an ice bag to your face for periods of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first day and the day following surgery will  help to minimize the swelling. Swelling should be the greatest on the second or third day and should start subsiding about the third day. After the first 24 hours, heat should be applied to the area instead of ice.


Do not brush or floss the graft site until you return for your follow-up visit. Brush other areas as usual. When you rinse, do so gently. Vigorous rinsing may upset the graft site.


A feeling of weakness, chills, and slight fever may be expierenced during the first 24 hours. Rest is encouraged during this period. The effects of sedation may last for 24 hours; therefore no strenuous activity should be performed during this time.


Do not hesitate to call the office: 843-766-7131. After office hours, the anwsering service will aid you in contacting the doctor. If you do not hear from someone in 30 minutes, please call back to repeat the paging process.







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