Root canal procedures remove the infected tissue from a tooth. Your dentist might recommend this option to save your tooth, rather than having it extracted. If you have recently received a root canal or are preparing for the procedure, you might be concerned about the pain associated with a root canal. Pain is now minimal with today’s root canal procedures. However, in some cases, you might need to contact your dentist.
Learn more about how to avoid pain after a root canal and what to expect after the procedure.
Types of Root Canal Pain
First, what is a root canal? This dental procedure involves cleaning deep inside the canals of your tooth, where soft tissue can become infected. After removing the infected tissue, your dentist will fill and seal the tooth. Your doctor will use a local anesthetic to mitigate any pain during the procedure.
While some pain after a root canal may occur, in some circumstances, you might
experience pain that requires attention from a dentist. The following types of pain might follow a root canal:
- Tenderness around the tooth – Most people will feel extra sensitive for a few days following a root canal. This could be due to irritated gums or a filling that needs to be smoothed out. Mild pain and sensitivity should only last a few days.
- Swelling – The tools that your dentist used during the procedure might have irritated the tissue around your tooth, which can lead to swelling.
- Severe pain – If you experience pain that is interfering with your daily activities, this is not normal and you should seek advice from your dentist. In this scenario, there could be nerve damage or an infection causing the pain.
Although some discomfort is typical, there are some steps you can take to avoid pain after a root canal.
How to Avoid Root Canal Pain
As the pain from a root canal subsides, there are a few things you can do. For typical sensitivity or tenderness, take an over-the-counter pain reliever or any medications prescribed by your dentist. If the pain does not go away after taking medication, or if the pain is interfering with your daily activities, contact your general dentist.
To avoid further pain or discomfort, don’t eat until you regain normal feeling in your mouth. If you try to eat while your cheeks, gums, or tongue are still numb, you could end up biting down on the sensitive tissue in your mouth. Make sure you follow your endodontist’s instructions on what you may and may not eat post root canal. Choosing soft foods like mashed potatoes or smoothies will speed your recovery and assist with minimizing pain around the tooth.
To avoid both pain associated with your root canal and further infections, it’s important to maintain good oral health habits. Brushing and flossing every day helps ensure you are removing harmful plaque and bacteria from the surface of your teeth.
Contact Columbia Smiles if You Have Pain After a Root Canal
At Columbia Smiles, we not only treat patients needing root canals, but we also help
provide guidance with any resulting pain. While root canals are safe, common
procedures, some patients experience pain afterward. Contact your dentist if you are in need of a root canal or are experiencing severe pain after the procedure.
We work with highly respected endodontists in the Columbia area. To learn more about our dentistry services and root canal therapy, reach out to our team at 410.690.4855 today.