Scale and Root Planing Aftercare

Scale and Root Planing Aftercare

How can you care for your teeth after scaling and root planing? You should be gentle, but overall your care should be the same as any other time; proper dental hygiene.

What is Scale and Root Planing?

Scaling and Root planing are procedures to remove plaque and buildup from within the gumline and under the teeth. Your dentist may recommend this if you have advanced gum disease, infection, or gum degradation. We all have buildup on our teeth, and routine hygiene interventions can help. However, sometimes the buildup enters the gumline anyway. We want to remove it before it gets a chance to infect.


In a scaling procedure, a metal tool is used to physically remove the hardened buildup from under the tooth. Sometimes it is a scaler and a dental curette, other times it is an ultrasound machine with an advanced pick and water flushing tool. The dentist will work the tool in between the gum and the tooth and gently hook any excess material to remove from the area. Less plaque buildup in the area, means less surface area for bacteria to fester. As the bacteria interacts with the tissue, it breaks it down and inflames the area. This causes the gum to slowly pull away from the tooth and recede, exposing the deeper roots of the teeth.

Root Planing

The deep roots of your teeth may become weak or dry after exposure. To combat this, your dentist may scale away the bacterial plaque buildup, and then plane the root itself. If the tooth root is smooth it will be easier for the gums to reattach as the tissue relaxes and begins to regrow.

After the Procedure

You will want to diligently monitor the area for any and all signs of infection. The one real risk factor to consider is the possibility of infection after the procedure. Any redness or puffiness in the gums should be consulted, as well as

  • Discharge- Pus or Blood
  • Persistent Bad Breath
  • Headaches or Fever
  • Color changes in the gum- Pink or pale
  • Looseness in your teeth

Caring for the teeth after Scaling and Root Planing

After your procedure make sure you care and clean the area regularly. Use your toothbrush at least twice a day to gently remove plaque and food buildup off of the gums in soft circular motions. Use your floss to follow the teeth down to the gumline, and work the floss in between the crevices in your smile. Use mouthwash to disinfect large surface areas like your cheek and tongue. Be sure to attend regular checkups with your dentist and hygienist, and consult on any concerns you may have.

Is Dental Scale and Root Planing right for you?

Consult with your dentist. They have your dental health as their top priority, and they know your teeth better than anybody. If you are considering the procedure ask about what to prepare for. If you are concerned about caring for your teeth after the procedure, ask if there is anything they recommend you add to your hygiene routine.

Is Scale and Root Planing Painful?