A root canal is a dental procedure that removes infected pulp within the root of the tooth and replaces it with an inert material. Many people fear having a root canal done, but it is not uncommon for patients to report that the procedure itself is not painful, and it will typically cease the pain and toothaches that most people experience prior to a root canal. If you need to have a root canal soon, continue reading to learn more about what to expect afterward:

Pain Management

It is very common for your tooth to feel tender and sore for a few days as the tooth begins to heal. You may also experience soreness in your jaw, which is the result of keeping your mouth open for an extended amount of time while the procedure is done. In some cases, narcotic medications are prescribed for pain, but typically the discomfort can be alleviated by taking over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Continue Regular Oral Hygiene

After a root canal, you can continue to brush and floss your teeth normally. Do not feel like you must avoid the tooth that had a root canal.

Take Care Eating

Your mouth will be heavily numbed during the root canal procedure; do not attempt to eat anything until the numbness has worn off completely, as doing so can cause you to bite your tongue or cheek and cause significant damage. If the tooth that had the root canal has not been restored by the dentist, avoid biting or chewing in that area. If your tooth is tender and your jaw is sore, you may want to stick to soft, easy-to-consume foods, such as soups, mashed potatoes, and puddings, for a couple of days.

Watch Out for Complications

Root canals are very common dental procedures and are typically considered to be quite safe. But like with any type of medical or dental procedure, complications are possible. If you notice significant swelling inside or outside your mouth, have an uneven bite, or experience extreme pain similar to the toothaches prior to the root canal, it is important to contact your dentist immediately. If your dentist has prescribed you narcotic pain killers, contact the office if you experience a rash, hives, or extreme itching, as those things can be a sign of an allergic reaction.

Final Restoration

Depending on your situation, your root canal may require several visits, and a temporary restoration may be used between procedures. After your root canal procedure is completely finished, call your dentist as soon as possible to make an appointment for a final, permanent restoration to protect your tooth.