Posted on: 4 January 2022Share
A root canal treatment can save a decaying tooth. The procedure itself should not be painful, as dentists use local anesthetic to numb your tooth, but recovery can be a little uncomfortable. Follow these five tips to recover safely and comfortably.
1. Use Appropriate Pain Relief
Everyday pain medications like ibuprofen and paracetamol are both safe to use following a root canal treatment. You can use them in combination if you need to, but do not exceed the maximum dose of either. Do not use aspirin, which thins the blood and can therefore raise the likelihood of bleeding from the root canal site.
2. Avoid Drinking Alcohol
After a root canal treatment, you might feel like treating yourself to an alcoholic beverage. However, alcohol can cause the blood vessels in the gums to dilate, which leads to an increase in pain and a greater likelihood of bleeding following any procedure in the mouth. It is much safer to drink water and save the beer or wine until you have completely recovered.
3. Avoid Smoking
While you are recovering from a root canal treatment, you need your body's healing processes to be working as well as possible. The chemicals in tobacco smoke interfere with healing, which could slow down recovery. Smoking also dries out the mouth, leading to an increase in discomfort.
Taking this opportunity to stop smoking for good is a perfect way to benefit your dental health, reducing your need for dental treatments in future. Quitting improves the health of your gums, makes your breath fresher, and your teeth whiter and healthier.
4. Modify Your Diet
Mealtimes after a root canal can be a little uncomfortable. You can make eating easier on yourself by basing your diet on soft foods for a few days. Try soups, stews, smoothies, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and oatmeal. Note that very hot and very cold foods can trigger sensitivity, so be sure to let your food cool a little before you eat it.
5. Seek Dental Care if Necessary
If you develop serious pain after your treatment, or if you start to show other signs of infection, such as a fever or increasing swelling in your mouth, then you should contact your dentist right away. Infection is relatively rare after root canal treatment. If it does happen, then a dentist can prescribe a course of antibiotics to stop the infection and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body.