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Why Your Gums Swell After Scaling and Root Planing

Posted on 3/20/2019 by Dr. Karl Zeren
Why Your Gums Swell After Scaling and Root PlaningWhen you come to us to have your gum disease treated, we will usually include a procedure known as scaling and planning. This process is a highly effective method of removing plaque deposits below the gumline, where your toothbrush cannot reach.

However, after you have had this procedure, you may very well notice some swelling and tenderness. Here is more information about why this occurs, and what you can do to help alleviate the problem.

Swollen Gum Tissue

One thing to keep in mind is that your gum tissue is swollen because it has been disturbed. As gum disease progresses, you may develop deposits on the roots of your teeth. The gum tissue can, in certain circumstances, actually grow around these deposits. Then, when the deposits are scraped away, the gum tissue will eventually close in and re-attach to the tooth.

As we scrape your teeth, the procedure will sometimes require detaching gum tissue from places where it has grown around the plaque deposits. This agitates the tissue and leads to swelling, tenderness, and even discomfort.

Promoting Healing
After scaling and planning, your gum tissue will be tender. Still, it is important that you take care to implement regular dental hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing. This will help keep the teeth clean during the healing process.

You can also aid the healing by gently gargling with a solution of warm water and salt. The salt acts as a disinfectant and helps your gum tissue to heal more quickly. When using a salt water rinse, take care that you don't use water that is so hot as to burn your gums. Also, moderate the amount of salt you use, as too much salt could cause further discomfort. Finally, after the rinse, use clean water to rinse out your mouth. Your gum tissue will be back to normal in no time.

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