Root canal surgery is one of the most effective and common dental procedures capable of saving an infected tooth. Though most people find root canal treatments daunting, the procedure is usually the surest way of ending a crippling toothache or other complications that follow a diseased tooth.
Pain and discomfort are considered normal and to be expected during the first couple of days after your root canal procedure. With that being said, some tips can be followed to minimise the pain and improve healing. Additionally, practising good root canal aftercare is essential for ensuring a successful recovery and improving the functionality of the mouth. Regular dental checkups are essential so be sure to reach out to experienced professionals like Sherwood Park Dental Practice.
Below, we have outlined some tips to help maintain your oral health after going through a root canal procedure:
Table of Contents
Immediately Following Your Root Canal Surgery
Anaesthesia can last several hours; therefore, you will most likely still feel numb following the procedure. Considering this, it is very important that you avoid eating or drinking anything until the numb feeling in your mouth fades to avoid biting, injuring or burning the sedated part of your mouth without realising it. Additionally, eating could cause you to bite down on the newly treated tooth, mistakenly damaging it.
Once the anaesthesia wears off, you can begin to eat again.
During the first few days after your root canal procedure, be careful not to injure or irritate your mouth. Following a root canal procedure, your mouth is swollen, sore and very sensitive. The objective is to reduce the swelling and pain as quickly as possible so that your gums can heal. Thus, for the first few days, try chewing with the untreated portion of your mouth.
It’s also vital that you choose your meals carefully. Specific foods or drinks can damage the treated teeth and cause additional complications, which can increase recovery time. Follow these tips when eating in the days following your root canal surgery:
- Only consume soft foods or foods that do not require significant chewing.
- Avoid consuming anything overly cold or hot because your teeth or gums may be very sensitive to extreme temperatures. Instead, opt for a food and drink mild in temperature.
- Avoid eating chewy or sticky foods like gum, which can dislodge the crown or temporary filling.
- Avoid eating hard foods and substances like apples, ice, candy, carrots and candy.
- Keep away from spicy foods, as they can cause irritation in particularly sensitive areas.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, as this can worsen bleeding.
Good oral hygiene is vital as you heal from root canal surgery. While regular oral care is always important, preventing infection is extremely necessary, especially after your surgery. Be sure to carefully brush and floss the treated area gently. Avoid pulling the floss around the affected tooth, as this can pull out the temporary filling. In addition, increase your use of mouthwash to promote good oral hygiene.
Pain management is important in the first few days after root canal surgery. These feelings of discomfort can last from a few days to a few weeks in some cases. After your surgery, you will notice swelling and soreness around your mouth. Elevating your head using a pillow while sleeping during the first few nights can help to reduce the discomfort.
Your dentist may recommend using over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Also, gargling with warm salt water can help to prevent gum infection and keep your mouth clean.
Finally, you can also eat ice cream and use cold compresses to keep the swelling down to a minimum after your root canal surgery. But remember, since you may experience tooth sensitivity in the treated tooth, do not eat the ice cream with that side of your mouth.
Long-Term Aftercare Tips Following a Root Canal
A second appointment is usually scheduled following your initial root canal surgery. Once the healing has progressed enough, the temporary filling is removed, and the root channel is permanently filled and sealed. After that, a dental crown or permanent filling is used to finish up the restoration process of the infected tooth. Getting a crown will prevent tooth breakage in the future.
Finally, the root canal restoration process is officially complete. In most cases, your dentist might recommend additional follow-up appointments to monitor the tooth. It is important that you never disregard any sort of follow-up appointment.
Aftercare during the first few days of getting a root canal surgery is crucial for a quick and successful recovery. You should avoid causing any damage to your treated tooth and try to reduce the pain. However, If you do experience any unexpected complications or symptoms which are uncommon but possible, be sure to contact your dentist