Following a root canal, your dentist will go over the best recovery tips to ensure your tooth heals correctly and ensure you don’t cause any additional pain after the procedure. While the tooth itself is now free of nerve endings, the area around the tooth will be sensitive, so you’ll want to take care. Of course, after your root canal, you might have been happy to just get out of the office and go home, so you might not remember everything the dentist or specialist recommended to you. To help, here are several tips and suggestions you should follow to reduce discomfort and ensure proper healing after a root canal.
Follow Your Endodontist’s Recommendations
Always listen to your endodontist when it comes to post-operative care. Everyone has their own overall health, dental history, lifestyle, and such. Your dental care team works hard to understand your tooth “story” and accommodate all your needs. The advice from your endodontist is tailored to you as an individual patient.
Avoid Eating Right Away
You will want to avoid eating immediately after your root canal. There will be some numbness following the procedure. Once the numbness has subsided, you can begin eating food again, although try to avoid chewing directly on that tooth until the soreness has subsided. You might find eating something soft, and cold helps with any residual discomfort. So feel free to enjoy some soft-serve ice cream. Just avoid ice cream with lots of nuts or chunks of material you need to chew.
When you come in for your appointment, make sure to inform your endodontist of any known allergies you may have or any medications you are taking daily. Follow your medical provider’s recommendations on using anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and swelling.
While the nerve endings within the tooth have been removed, the tooth and surrounding gums have just gone through a level of trauma during the procedure, and you might have a level of discomfort and pain. This pain might linger for a day or two, but it’ll dissipate quickly. If, however, the pain is unbearable, you may consider taking pain medication. However, we recommend anti-inflammatory medication since they are more effective at reducing soreness and swelling. If you can’t take this type of medication, Tylenol will work as well.
Rest and Relax
Our advice is to do what makes you feel the best. Some patients go right back to work or school after root canal treatment, and we encourage you to do so if you are feeling up to it. The best rule of thumb is to do what you feel comfortable doing.
In case you are experiencing some swelling around the tooth, we recommend trying holding cold compresses or ice packs to the treated area. Another option is to apply an ice pack for around 10 minutes and repeat as needed.
Inflammation is common following an injury. However, there are ways you can make inflammation worse based on what you eat or drink. Increasing inflammation will extend the length of time it takes to recover from your root canal.
You will want to stay hydrated with close to room temperature water. You should also avoid eating anything hard, like nuts, hard fruits, or candy, as this can be painful.
Thankfully, there are some items you can consume that will help reduce inflammation and actually reduce the amount of time it takes for your body to recover. Any kind of berry is fantastic for this. So pick out your favorite fresh berry and enjoy. The fruit is softer, so it’s fine to eat following a root canal, and the antioxidants are good for your body as well. Fish is also a good option for reducing inflammation. Any fish will do, but salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies are all top on the list. While eating an anchovy pizza might not be in the cards following your procedure, the salty fish itself is a good choice.
Not very hungry? You can pop a fish oil supplement. It’ll pack the anti-inflammation power of fish without the need to eat anything.
Schedule Your Root Canal Consultation Today
Has your general dentist told you it’s necessary to perform a root canal? Or maybe they are suggesting the removal of a tooth due to damage, and you want to determine whether it’s possible to save the tooth instead? When it comes to the health of your teeth, an endodontist is a specialist you need to seek out. Here at Southern Endodontic Specialists, this is our entire practice.
We want to do everything in our power to help you save a damaged tooth. We also have the specialized technology to perform even the most complex root canals. Feel free to give us a call or request a consultation directly through the website. Whatever is best for you, our staff at Southern Endodontic Specialists is here to help.