Any time reconstructive work is completed, it tends to alter your bite. That means you’ll need to be careful until you’re comfortable with the way your new bite feels. Normally, it can take several days for you to become completely familiar with a new bite pattern. That means you’ll have to be careful during that time to avoid biting down too hard on the affected teeth. Sensitivity to heat and cold are commonly experienced as the teeth heal. Some gum pain is also experienced by patients, but warm salt water rinses help the healing process. Mix one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and thoroughly rinse your mouth three times per day until any discomfort diminishes. Of course, you can also take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed during this period. Your new teeth can be damaged if proper precautions are not taken. Avoid hard foods, sticky candies, and don’t put foreign objects like pencils in your mouth. Smoking should also be avoided as it tends to stain the teeth. Please let us know if you have any issues after a procedure. Our goal is to improve your dental health with as little pain and inconvenience as possible.
Following scaling and root planning, you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding and less swelling of your gum tissue. The health of your gum tissue can then be maintained with proper home care and regular professional care.
Discomfort or pain should be acute and should subside in a few hours or a day. Discomfort immediately after treatment is usually associated with slight throbbing or aching. This usually subsides in a few hours. Your teeth may become sensitive to temperature changes and/or sweets. This may be intense for the first few days and then diminish rapidly. Over the counter pain medications usually can remedy this problem. If you would like a prescription medication, please do not hesitate to ask. Acetaminophen or non-aspirin analgesic would be advised to keep bleeding to a minimum.
Some slight bleeding may occur during the next several brushings but this should steadily decrease after two or three days. Root surfaces of the teeth may be more exposed as the swelling of the inflamed gum tissue goes away and may result in more space between the teeth.
Diet/Eating – If extensive root planning was performed, chewing hard foods, such as meat or raw vegetables may be uncomfortable. This should last no longer than a few days. A diet of a softer consistency would be advisable until chewing becomes more comfortable. If a local anesthetic was used, avoid chewing until the feeling returns to avoid injury to the tongue or cheeks. If tooth sensitivity persists, use a desensitizing dentifrice (toothpaste) containing potassium nitrate.
If gum tissues are tender, brush your teeth gently and thoroughly. Length of time brushing your teeth is more important than pressure of the brush against your gums. By the third or fourth day, normal oral hygiene techniques can be resumed. Mouth rinsing is recommended with either of the following solutions: (1) an antimicrobial mouth rinse or (2) a warm saline rinse. Use of these rinses should be limited to one to two consecutive weeks.
Periodontal Maintenance: Periodontal maintenance scaling is needed to maintain gum and bone health. This procedure includes removal of plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, all the way down the length of each tooth to where the root, gum, and bone meet. Rough areas of the roots are smoothed if needed, pocket depths are carefully monitored, and inflamed pockets may be irrigated with antibacterial medicines if necessary. Periodontal maintenance is considered a basic service by your insurance carrier, may be subject to a yearly deductible, and may be covered 2-4 times a year depending on your policy. PM is usually performed 3 to 4 times a year, depending on several factors: how quickly the plaque and tartar accumulate, how much bleeding or inflammation is present, how stable the present condition is, how well you are able to maintain your teeth at home on a daily basis, and any health risk factors you may have.
You will normally be given some sort of anesthetic to minimize any pain during your procedure, it’s normal for your lips and tongue to feel numb for some time after leaving our office. Until that numbness wears off, it’s important to avoid chewing, especially hard foods, or drinking hot liquids. It’s easy to injure your mouth when you lack the feeling to properly react to heat or other sensations, so try to avoid putting yourself at risk. Water is certainly acceptable to drink, but use caution when eating anything, as it’s very easy to bite the inside of your mouth during this time.
With composite fillings, it’s perfectly okay to chew as soon as the anesthetic wears off, as the fillings set quickly. If there is any discomfort after the anesthetic wears off, over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to ease the pain. In most cases, any discomfort will quickly wear off and should be completely gone within a couple of days. If the pain doesn’t diminish quickly, it’s always a good idea to call our office and discuss what’s happening with our team.
Following Fillings after a Deep Decay treatment
Sensitivity to cold and heat, as well as any soreness, is to be expected and shouldn’t last more than a few days. Please call our office if you experience pain or discomfort for more than a few days. Sensitivity can last a few weeks with deeper or multiple-surface fillings. Call our office if the bite feels off once the anesthetic has worn off.
Occlusal guards, retainers, or sleep apnea appliances may need adjustment following placement of a filling. Please make sure to call for a 10 to 15-minute appointment.
Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings last for a long time.
You can expect soreness after a root canal procedure for a few days. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed so you do not irritate the area and also to ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets. You will also need to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in your tooth. If you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication, or the loss of the temporary restoration (filling) call your dentist immediately.
As the medication used to numb your mouth during the procedure wears off, you may feel some tenderness in the area for a few days as everything heals and some mild soreness in your jaw from keeping your mouth open for an extended period during the procedure. These temporary symptoms usually respond well to over-the-counter medication but your doctor may prescribe stronger, narcotic medication as well. It’s important to carefully follow the instructions for medications and that narcotics can make you drowsy so you should exercise caution when taking them and driving a car or operating dangerous machinery.
Though you may experience a slightly different sensation from your treated tooth than your other teeth for some time, you should contact us immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
You may have discomfort for a few days after receiving your final dentures or partials. Dentures and partials will often need several adjustments in order to fit comfortably. To help adjust to your dentures, you can practice reading aloud for a little while each day.
At night, you should remove your dentures and clean them. Do not sleep with them in your mouth. They should be stored in a clean container filled with a denture cleaning solution. Dentures should be removed for at least 6 hours a day to give your mouth and gums time to rest. Food particles can become trapped under dentures, causing inflammation or sore spots. Brush the roof of your mouth and tongue and lightly brush your gums after removing your dentures.
Ongoing care for your restoration includes brushing your teeth and surrounding tissues after every meal and snack. If you have partial dentures, floss at least once a day before bedtime. If you have full dentures, there is no need to floss, but brushing them is very important. Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash will also help to remove any additional particles that may have been missed during brushing and flossing.
You should visit our office at least once a year to have your dentures or partial dentures adjusted and checked by the doctor. Through the years, our jaw bones may shift, causing the denture to loosen. Relining the denture may be necessary to improve the fit of the denture. Please call our office at the first signs of any symptoms or if you are experiencing ongoing pain or discomfort.
When the permanent crown or bridge is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural tooth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. You should brush and floss regularly.
Before you receive your permanent veneer you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. You should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in.
There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away.
When the veneer is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural tooth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know. When brushing and flossing you should pay close attention to the area between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line.
After the surgery you will need to rest. You need to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.
You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.
Bleeding is always a concern after a tooth is extracted, so biting on a gauze pad for at least 30-45 minutes after leaving the office will be necessary. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped at that point, continue using the gauze pads until clotting develops and the bleeding subsides. It’s crucial that the site has an adequate opportunity to heal properly, so take every precaution to ensure the clot isn’t disturbed. As a rule, stay away from using straws, smoking, drinking alcohol, and brushing the teeth adjacent to the extraction site for at least 72 hours. It’s also important to avoid strenuous exercise for the first couple of days following an extraction, as heavy exercise tends to elevate your blood pressure, which will make it more difficult for the site to heal. If you have any questions about the advisability of engaging in specific activities, we’re here to offer our advice. Of course, there is some pain associated with any extraction, so expect to use some type of pain medication for the first day or two following the procedure. Antibiotics will typically be prescribed to eliminate any infection at the site. We also strongly recommend you focus on eating healthy foods on the day of the extraction. While you may not feel like eating for a couple of hours, don’t ignore your normal dietary needs even on the day of the procedure. If your pain levels don’t diminish or the bleeding persists, call our office for assistance.
DO NOT DISTURB THE AREA: For the next few days, and especially the first 24 hours, it is very important to allow your body to form a good clot and start the natural healing process. Swishing, sucking through a straw, and smoking can all dislodge the clot. Keep anything sharp from entering the wound (crunchy food, toothpicks, eating utensils). Be sure to chew on the opposite side for 24 hours.
BLEEDING: When you leave the office, you might be biting on a gauze pad to control bleeding. Keep slight pressure on this gauze for at least 30 minutes. Don’t change it during this time; it needs to remain undisturbed while a clot forms in the extraction socket. After 30 minutes you may remove it. You may bite on gauze or a tea bag for another 30 minutes if you feel it is still bleeding. Small amounts of blood in the saliva can make your saliva appear quite red. This is normal and may be noticed the rest of the day after the procedure.
SMOKING: Smoking should be stopped following surgery. Healing and success of the surgery will be substantially reduced by the cigarette smoke chemicals in your body. Also the suction created when inhaling cigarettes can dislodge the clot. Smokers are at greater risk of developing a painful Dry Socket.
PAIN: Some discomfort is normal after surgery. To minimize pain, take two Tylenol, Nuprin, Advil, or similar non-aspirin pain reliever every 3 to 4 hours until bedtime to maintain comfort. Take it before the anesthesia wears off. If prescription pain medication is prescribed, take it as instructed on the label. Don’t exceed the dose on the label. Taking with food or milk will help reduce upset stomach. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery when taking pain prescriptions. Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.
NAUSEA: This is most often caused by taking pain medications on an empty stomach. Reduce nausea by preceding each pain pill with soft food, and taking the pill with a large glass of water. SWELLING: Applying an ice bag to the face over the operated area will minimize swelling. Apply for 15 minutes, and then remove for 15 minutes. Continue this for the first day.
NUMBNESS: The local anesthetic will cause you to be numb for several hours after you leave the office. Be very careful not to bite, chew, pinch, or scratch the numb area. Sometimes the extraction causes residual numbness or tingling for six weeks or longer.
BRUSHING: Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After this, you may brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery for 3 days.
RINSING: Avoid all rinsing or swishing for 24 hours after extraction. Rinsing can disturb the formation of a healing blood clot which is essential to proper healing. This could cause bleeding and risk of dry socket. After 24 hours you may begin gentle rinsing with a saltwater solution (1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon soda + 8 ounces warm water). Avoid commercial mouth rinses. DIET: Eat soft foods for the first two days. Maintain a good, balanced diet. Return to normal regular meals as soon as you are able after the first two days. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol for 48 hours.
ACTIVITY: After leaving the office, rest and avoid strenuous activities for the remainder of the day. Keeping blood pressure lower will reduce bleeding and aid healing.
ANTIBIOTICS: If you were given an antibiotic prescription, take all of them as directed until they are gone. Women: some antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Use alternate birth control methods for two months.
SINUS: If your sinus was involved in the procedure, you should avoid blowing your nose or playing a wind musical instrument for one week. Use of decongestant medications might be recommended.
FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENTS: You may need to return to the office to have sutures removed, or just for a brief follow-up healing check.
Please call your dentist if you have: