Nobody looks forward to having a root canal done. One reason is that people are afraid of how painful the procedure is going to be. Many dentists provide sedation when performing root canal treatments. Even though the actual procedure might not be painful, there can be some discomfort during the recovery stage.
If you need a root canal and want to be more prepared about the recovery process, here are three things you should know.
1. Know How to Soothe the Discomfort
Root canals are considered invasive dental procedures. During a root canal, the dentist cleans the inner part of the tooth's root, which irritates the nerves and gums. This is why you can expect to experience some discomfort and tooth sensitivity after the sedation has worn off.
To ease the discomfort, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. You can also apply an ice pack to your jaw or gargle with saltwater. If you feel a throbbing sensation in your gums, you can elevate your head with extra pillows. If pain becomes excruciating after a root canal, or if it doesn't go away, you should contact your dentist.
2. Know What Foods to Eat
Following a root canal, you should wait until the numbness inside your mouth wears off before you attempt to eat anything. Once the numbness wears off, you should eat soft foods only.
Some foods to eat after a root canal include:
- Scrambled eggs
If your teeth feel extra sensitive, foods and drinks that are either really cold or really hot will exacerbate the sensitivity. Other foods to avoid following a root canal include hard foods, such as nuts and seeds. You should also avoid gum and other sticky foods.
3. Know How Long Recovery Takes
The recovery process following a root canal treatment is different for everyone. Those with a high tolerance to pain might have only needed a local anesthetic for the procedure so their recovery might not take as long. Those with a low pain tolerance or with dental anxiety may need sedation, so their recovery might take longer and they won't be able to drive or return to work that same day.
It's also important to refrain from exercising after a root canal, as this kind of activity can cause the tooth or gums to start bleeding. During the recovery process, you should continue to brush and floss your teeth. When doing so, take extra care near the area you received the root canal. In most cases, it won't take too long before you can resume your normal activities.
Contact a dental office like Laveen Smiles to learn more.