Whether a tooth has broken and become infected or you are dealing with the early stages of decay or gum disease, a root canal procedure may be recommended to save your tooth. It may be one of the most common dental procedures performed, but most people are not familiar with the treatment. If you are undergoing a root canal in the near future, knowing what to expect once it is complete is smart. Here are a few things to know for your root canal recovery.

1. Pain and Discomfort

During the actual root canal procedure, you most likely did not experience pain – only pressure while your dentist cleaned out the infected pulp. Once the anesthesia wears off, you will probably have some discomfort. Most patients will feel sore in the jaw and have some headaches during their root canal recovery. An aching pain is also common in and around the treated tooth.

It is important to note that this pain should be easily managed with an ice pack or heating pad. Or, your dentist may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever. If the infection and pain were more severe, prescription pain medications may be an option. If you are still experiencing pain after a few days, contact your dentist for an evaluation. There are instances where complications may arise. For example, your dentist may have treated a specific tooth and root, but the root system is complicated, meaning the infection may have spread to other areas that were missed.

2. Eating and Drinking

Most people do not have much of an appetite after the root canal procedure. Not only will the pain decrease your desire to eat, but the numbness and swelling of the tooth and mouth will make eating and drinking difficult. It is best to wait until the swelling has subsided some and the mouth is no longer number before attempting to eat. When you are ready for food, consider smoothies and milkshakes to start since they are easy to drink. Scrambled eggs, soups, and yogurt are also good options because they do not require much chewing.

3. Oral Hygiene

Yes, your oral hygiene will still be important after the root canal treatment. Your dentist will explain the best techniques to brush and floss your teeth following a root canal. Avoid making any harsh motions on the treated tooth, though. Excessively rough brushing and flossing could dislodge the crown/cap used to restore your tooth. 

To learn more, contact your local root canal services