While no one looks forward to root canal treatment, the procedure can be critical for saving a compromised tooth. To ensure proper healing, your dentist will provide you with aftercare instructions. Along with those recommendations, there are several tips you can follow after your root canal treatment to speed up your recovery, promote healing, and avoid potential complications.
- Avoid chewing on the treated side of your mouth until all of the numbness from the anesthetic has completely worn off. Stay away from crunchy, hard, or chewy foods for several days.
- To keep swelling at a minimum, apply an ice pack or bag of frozen peas on the treated area for thirty minutes. Repeat this process hourly for about fifteen minutes each time until swelling subsides.
- Keep your head elevated while sleeping for several days after treatment.
- Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water regularly for the first few days after root canal treatment.
- Do not smoke for a minimum of 24 hours post-procedure, and refrain from tobacco usage as much as possible until the treated area is fully healed.
- Refrain from strenuous physical activity or exercise for 48 hours after your root canal procedure.
- Relieve pain with anti-inflammatory medication, either over-the-counter ibuprofen or prescription as determined by your dentist
These tips, along with the aftercare instructions provided by your dental professional, should help ensure the best chance of a successful and quick recovery. However, should you experience excessive swelling, pain, the appearance of a rash or hives, or a return of original symptoms, you should contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.