A root canal is a very effective treatment for a tooth that has suffered from severe decay. It removes the damage and restores the tooth to health, allowing you to keep your natural tooth, keep the alignment of your teeth, and prevent further issues with the jaw. Once the treatment has been completed, it’s important to follow the directions given by the dentist to ensure that the mouth fully returns to health. Here are a few tips to follow after a root canal.
A root canal is a surgical procedure, so it’s important to take any prescribed antibiotics as directed after the treatment in order to prevent further or additional infection.
Discomfort is normal following a root canal treatment and is usually easily managed with over-the-counter medications such as Advil or Aleve. However, discomfort or pain should only last for a short period of time. If you notice that the pain does not go away, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Keep the tooth as well as the surrounding gums very clean. Brush and floss regularly and gently rinse the mouth to clear the area of food and debris.
The area will be very tender following the procedure, so be sure to not put pressure on it through grinding or clenching your jaw. A night guard may be a worthwhile investment for the period following the treatment to keep the teeth apart and to keep the area safe. In addition, avoid chewing too much on the side of the mouth where the root canal took place.
Hard, chewy, or crunchy foods should be avoided right after a root canal. The treated tooth may be sensitive to very hot or cold foods for a period. Mild or room-temperature foods are recommended as the tooth heals.
If you have other concerns or further questions about the root canal after the procedure, do not hesitate to contact your dentist office. Remember that initial pain and discomfort is normal following the procedure, but it should subside within a few days. Following the above tips is the surest way to heal quickly and restore health to your mouth.