Scaling and root planing are procedures used to treat gum disease, a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. This deep cleaning process can cause tenderness in the gums that may last for a few days. If you’ve had scaling and root planing done recently or you have an appointment coming up to have this done, you may have some questions about follow up care, such as what to eat. Here are some suggestions for foods that are soft, yet packed with nutrition that will help you feel full while your mouth heals.
What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing are two procedures that are often done together to treat gum disease and help prevent it from returning. Scaling is the process of removing hardened plaque from the roots of the teeth below the gums. Root planing is done next to smooth out the surface of the tooth roots so that the gum tissue can attach more firmly. This prevents plaque from getting under the gum tissue and causing reinfection.
While neither of these procedures involve cutting of tissue, the gums are pulled back away from the teeth which can cause them to be sore afterwards. This is why it is necessary to be careful about what you eat in the first few days following.
Foods to Eat in the First 24-48 Hours After Scaling and Root Planing
We recommend a diet consisting of liquids and soft foods for the first 24 hours after these procedures to avoid irritation of the gum tissue. Suggestions include:
- Soup (not hot)
- Protein drinks
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Cooked soft vegetables
- Cooked soft rice
- Soft bread
Foods to Avoid for the First Week
We recommend avoiding hard and crunchy foods for the first week until your gums have had time to heal and bond with the teeth. Some foods to avoid include:
- Bread with hard crust
- Raw vegetables
- Fruit with hard seeds
- Acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes
- Spicy foods
- Hot foods or beverages
Other Follow-Up Care Instructions for Scaling and Root Planing
Besides what to eat and drink, there are additional follow-up care suggestions to help you feel more comfortable and recover more quickly.
- Brush and floss your teeth carefully the first few days after the procedure. It is still important to remove food residue and plaque from the teeth.
- Rinse with warm salt water 3-4 times a day for the first few days or until the gum tissue is no longer sore.
- Over the counter pain medication may help relieve any discomfort you feel after scaling and root planing.
- Your teeth may be more sensitive than usual after scaling and root planing because the roots have been exposed and the gum tissue is still in the process of reattaching. Avoid extremely hot or extremely cold foods and beverages.
- Avoid smoking or using any tobacco products. This can slow the healing process, resulting in a longer recovery.
Attleboro Family Dental Care Provides Treatment for Gum Disease
Gum disease is a common condition affecting both children and adults. Attleboro Family Dental Care provides a variety of treatments for gum disease, including scaling and root planing. Our goal is to treat the infection at the source and prevent it from returning so that your gums remain healthy to effectively support your teeth.