Oral Hygiene

Treatment methods for gum disease depend upon how far the condition has progressed. While first-stage gum disease usually gets better or reverses after a professional cleaning, proper oral hygiene must be continued at home, or the condition can easily and quickly return. 

After a deep cleaning or surgical procedure, you may have pain for a day or two and teeth sensitivity for up to a week. Your gums also may be swollen, feel tender and bleed. To prevent infection, control pain or help you heal, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic or prescription mouth rinse. Your dentist may also insert medication directly into pockets that were cleaned.

There are both non-surgical and surgical treatments for gum disease, depending on its severity.  

If your gum disease is more advanced and your treatment plan includes surgery, you will have to take special care to ensure proper healing. It’s important to follow all of your dentist’s instructions for treatment after-care. Tips for after-care for gum disease treatment include:

  • Avoid excessively hot or cold food and drinks for a few days after treatment
  • Avoid hard foods such as nuts or popcorn that may worsen irritation or get caught in teeth
  • Use a salt water rinse a couple of times a day after the first 24 hours
  • Use over the counter medications for pain and inflammation
  • Ice compresses can be used to help with swelling 
  • Don’t smoke
  • Maintain healthy brushing and flossing habits

Your dentist will likely schedule another visit to see how your gums have healed and how your at-home dental regimen is working. Remember, you don’t have to lose teeth to gum disease. If you suspect you have gum disease, or if your dentist has diagnosed you with gingivitis or periodontitis, there are ways to treat – and in many cases, reverse – it. The best first step is to consult with your dental professional and get started on a treatment and prevention plan. The sooner you get started, the better.

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