Root Canal Post-Treatment Care: Recovery Tips You Need to Know
Getting a root canal isn’t as bad as it sounds. After the root canal procedure, there is relatively little pain after the first few hours when the local anesthesia wears off. After one to two weeks, your mouth and gums should feel back to normal. These root canal post treatment care tips can help speed up the healing process, minimize the pain and swelling, and get you back to feeling your best in no time.
Root Canal Post Treatment Care Tips
Elevate Your Head – Once the procedure is complete, you can minimize the pain and swelling by avoiding lying down and keeping your head elevated. Adding an extra pillow while you sleep can help control the pain and swelling for the first few days.
Avoid Eating for a Few Hours – Many dentists recommend you eat within a specific time frame before your root canal procedure. Afterward, avoid eating until the numbness has completely subsided.
Use Over-the-Counter Pain Medications – After the local anesthesia wears off, your gums, jaw, and mouth may be slightly sore. Anti-inflammatory pain medication, such as ibuprofen, can effectively treat the pain.
Gargle with Salt Water – Infection can cause a lot of pain and create complications that may land you back in the dentist’s office for further repairs. Regularly gargling with warm salt water can help keep your mouth clean, prevent infection in your gums, and ensure your recovery is as smooth and painless as possible.
Avoid Strenuous Activities – Avoid strenuous physical activities for the first few days after your root canal treatment. Try not to engage in any sports, running, hiking, or physical labor to let your body get enough rest and allow yourself to heal.
Try a Cold Compress – A cold compress can help keep the swelling down following a root canal treatment. Use a cold compress for 15 minutes several times a day for the first few days after the procedure or until the swelling subsides. Or you can treat yourself to a little ice cream if you’re feeling up to it.
Avoid Inflammatory Foods – After the procedure, the goal is to reduce swelling and prevent inflammation and irritation. Avoid drinking alcohol, hot beverages, and hard or sticky foods. You should also avoid drinking from a straw or eating foods that require sucking. These foods can cause inflammation in the gums and more pain and swelling, which slows your recovery.
Call Your Dentist if You Have Concerns
Call your dentist or endodontist if any symptoms linger after a few days or you experience excessive bleeding, severe pain, swelling, fever, or reactions to any medication. While complications and issues are rare, taking care of yourself can help ensure a quick and pain-free recovery.
If you need a root canal, contact Loren J. Grossman & Steven Hippeli General & Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule a consultation or learn more about the procedure and what to expect.