Tips For Recovering After A Root Canal Procedure

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If you have an abscessed tooth, a root canal procedure can bring you relief. Most patients find that their pain subsides greatly immediately after they have this procedure. However, there are a few things you will want to do after a root canal to ensure you keep healing and experiencing relief.

If you've been prescribed antibiotics, keep taking them.

Dentists often prescribe antibiotics to patients who have abscessed teeth. But often, patients stop taking these antibiotics once they have the root canal since the root canal gets rid of most of their pain. This is a mistake. Although the infected tissues inside your tooth have been removed in the root canal, there may still be some infection lingering in your gums and the surrounding tissues. If you stop taking your antibiotics too early, this infection may proliferate and lead to bigger complications. Keep taking your antibiotics for as long as the dentist instructed you to, regardless of your level of pain post-root-canal.

Avoid hot and cold items.

The tooth on which the root canal was performed is now essentially "dead" since its nerve tissue has been removed. However, the teeth on either side of that tooth were put under some pressure and trauma while the dentist worked, and this has probably left them sensitive to heat and cold. Don't worry — this sensitivity should be gone within a week or so. In the meantime, though, you should avoid consuming hot and cold foods and beverages.

Take a dose of pain reliever when you get home.

When you get home from your root canal treatment, promptly take a dose of ibuprofen or naproxen. (Take as much as is recommended on the package.) This will help get any pain and inflammation under control before the numbing agent that your dentist used wears off. Some patients experience jaw soreness and even headaches after a root canal, which is more related to holding their mouth open for so long. Taking a pain reliever before this pain even develops is more effective than waiting for the pain to set in and then taking medication.

A root canal procedure should not leave you in extreme discomfort, and it should actually alleviate the discomfort you've been feeling in the long term. But it is important to keep managing your condition and taking good care of yourself once you get home, and the tips above are ways of doing that.

For more information about root canal procedures, reach out to a local dentist.