How to Recover After a Root Canal Treatment

A root canal treatment is necessary when the root of a tooth gets infected or is severely decayed. The procedure involves removing the inflamed or infected pulp, cleaning the insides of the tooth and sealing the space.

The recovery period following the treatment is genereally uneventful. However, any discomfort experienced, such as soreness of the jaw after a prolonged time of having one’s mouth open during the procedure, can generally be relieved by over-the-counter medications.

Recovering after a root canal

Here are four tips that will help a patient recover from a root canal:

1. Talk to the dentists

Root canal treatment is the initial step toward the complete treatment of the affected tooth. This calls for one to contact their dentist immediately upon noticing the following:

  • An uneven bite
  • Strange symptoms or the return of previous symptoms prior to visiting the dentist
  • Noticeable swellings within and outside the mouth
  • Negative reactions to the prescribed medication, such as rashes or itching
  • Loss of filling or temporary crown

2. Take the prescribed dose of antibiotics

Sometimes, the affected tooth gets infected due to tooth decay. Antibiotics are given to treat the infection. Therefore, it is critical for root canal patients to complete their prescribed antibiotics dose to prevent re-infection.

3. Practice good oral hygiene

This is mandatory to keep tooth infection and decay at bay after a root canal procedure. Brushing teeth in the morning, as well as in the evening prior to retiring to bed, is highly recommended. One should brush for no less than two minutes using fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, regular flossing should be done to remove any food particles trapped in between the teeth and gums. To finish up the routine, a mouthwash that helps prevent cavities should be used.

4. Control what to eat

No food or hot drinks: Soon after the root canal treatment, patients should avoid eating anything or taking hot fluids as they wait for the numbness in their lips, tongues, teeth and mouth tissues to go away completely, which can last for a few hours. Failure to do this could lead to injury from bites as one chews food or getting burned after drinking hot beverages. Hot foods and fluids should be avoided, as the affected tooth is still very sensitive.

No difficult-to-chew foods: After a root canal treatment, one should restrain themselves from chewing tough foods such as hard crusts and nuts, crunchy foods like apples and carrots, and chewy foods including caramel and candy.

Chewing such foods will not only cause undue pain, but it can also damage the affected tooth, leading to a reinfection.

Eat soft and healthy foods: Eating soft foods will allow for the swelling to subside, and this can take a few days. Patients should also consume adequate amounts of nutrients for a shorter recovery period after the root canal treatment. Soft and nutritious food alternatives like soups, vitamin-packed smoothies, mashed potatoes, yogurt, fish and eggs are good choices, since they do not need much chewing yet provide sufficient nutrition for the body.

In summary, a root canal treatment helps eliminate unbearable tooth pain, while saving the damaged tooth. Contact one of our dentists to learn more about root canals.

What are you waiting for?

Request a dental appointment here: or call Twiss Dental at (720) 710-0629 for an appointment in our Highlands Ranch dental office.

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