After laser periodontal Therapy
- Pain Medication – Most people experience some mild soreness of the treated areas for the first few days. You will be given a prescription for Motrin/Ibuprofen to relieve the discomfort. Take 1 tablet every 4 – 6 hrs as needed for pain (or you may take 4 tablets of over-the-counter Advil, Motrin, or generic Ibuprofen for a total of 800mg). If you have breakthrough pain before your next dose of Ibuprofen is due, or if the Ibuprofen alone is inadequate for pain control, please give our office a call and the doctor will prescribe a stronger pain medication.
- Antibiotic – You may have been given an antibiotic. Please take it as directed until it is gone.
- Peridex (Chlorhexidine) Mouth Rinse – GENTLY rinse with ½ ounce twice daily after brushing the remaining teeth in the nonsurgical sites. Please note that a light stain may develop on the teeth and tongue in patients that smoke or drink coffee. The stain can be easily polished off and should not worry you. The antibacterial effects of the mouthwash are significant and play a very important role in helping to prevent postoperative infection.
- Muscle Relaxer (Flexeril/Cyclobenzaprine) – You may have been given a prescription for a muscle relaxer. Take 1 tablet at bedtime to control nighttime clenching or grinding. This will help significantly in reducing postoperative pain.
For the next 4 – 6 hours you are to have cold liquids only (iced teas, carbonated beverages, fruit juice, lemonade, water). The cold liquids will allow proper clotting to take place and reduce some amount of discomfort. Do not use a straw; allow the cold liquids to pass over the surgical area.
After the first 6 hours you may have something to eat, either warm or cold. Start with mushy foods: soup, yogurt, scrambled eggs, for example. You should stay on a soft diet (consistency of scrambled eggs) for the rest of the week. Avoid chewing food in the areas of the mouth where the laser has been used. One of the most important results of laser surgery is the blood clots that form following surgery. It is extremely important not to dislodge the tiny clots that form in and around the gums.
DON’T… chew gum, eat candy, cookies, chips, nuts, anything hard or crunchy, anything that has seeds or hard pieces, meat that shreds and can lodge under the gum and between teeth, and raw vegetables/salad.
The tissue will appear discolored around the teeth, similar to what a scab looks like when it is wet. It is very important NOT to brush or pick this away, as this fibrin barrier is what allows the gums underneath to get a head start creating a new attachment to the teeth. Therefore, great care needs to be taken with oral hygiene. DO NOT BRUSH teeth in the area where laser treatment was done for 7 to 14 days. Use only Peridex mouthwash two to three times daily; continue until your first cleaning.
Soft manual brushing in conjunction with Peridex is allowed 10 to 14 days after treatment. No flossing, no Proxabrush, and no electric toothbrush until after your first cleaning. Never use an oral irrigator, such as a Waterpik.
You may notice that your bite will feel different, as if the teeth don’t touch together. As adjustments are made, your bite should feel stronger and more stable than ever, and more comfortable.
In order to assure the success of your laser periodontal therapy, it is essential for you to have your periodontal maintenance cleanings performed at our office for 8-12 months after treatment. We want to make sure that after your time, effort, cost and desire for good periodontal health, every effort is made to make this happen. The success of your treatment is our primary concern!
**If you were sedated, NO DRIVING the day of the surgery**
Please feel free to call at any time to have even the smallest question answered.
If you need to get in touch with the doctor, please call the office at 815-261-1739. After hours the phone is answered by an answering service that can page the doctor 24 hours a day.