What Can You Not Do After a Root Canal?
A root canal is required when the dental pulp at the centre of the tooth has become damaged by bacteria, causing infection. This can cause immense pain when eating, looseness of teeth and swollen gums. Subsequently, a root canal is needed to remove these bacteria and treat the infection.
A typical root canal involves removing the bacteria from the root canal system of the problematic tooth, although in serious cases the tooth may need to be extracted. After the bacteria is successfully removed, it is filled and is sealed with a filling or crown. As you are under an anaesthetic the procedure should be pain-free and at most you will only feel mild discomfort.
Following a root canal procedure there are a few dos and don’ts that we advise patients to take note of to avoid any potential issues arising. Here is our advice:
Immediately after a root canal
Immediately following your root canal procedure your mouth will likely be numb for a minimum of a few hours. If you notice any significant swelling around your mouth, then an ice pack should help reduce it. Taking prescribed painkillers can also help keep potential pain or discomfort to a minimum during these few hours.
What to avoid: During this period, it is essential that you avoid consuming anything that is hot and avoid food that requires extensive chewing. This ensures you avoid potentially burning your mouth or biting down too hard on your tooth.
In the days following a root canal
It is essential to still be extremely careful in the days following the procedure, especially making sure to avoid hard foods which can irritate the root canal. Also ensure you chew on the opposite side of your mouth, to avoid further pain around the sensitive root canal area. Using pillows to keep your head elevated during sleep can also help avoid pain in the sensitive area. If you are still experiencing pain, ensure you continue to take your prescribed medication and take extra care when brushing.
The weeks following root canal treatment
In the weeks following a root canal procedure, it is essential to follow up with dental appointments, even if you are happy and pain-free. These are essential in spotting any potential issues with the root canal such as pulp not being wholly removed or potential tooth cracking, these may not be visible to you when simply looking in the mirror.
How to prevent needing future root canal treatment
To avoid potentially requiring future root canal procedures on your teeth in future it is essential to maintain good oral hygiene. This involves brushing twice a day, for at least two minutes at a time, and flossing daily. This will reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth and avoid potential infection to your dental pulp.
Lifestyle changes are also key in avoiding future root canals, such as giving up smoking. Smoking greatly increases the chance of inflammation and infection. Changing your diet can also help, especially reducing the amount of sugar, as sugar can increase bacteria production in the mouth.
If you’re wanting to say goodbye to toothache caused by infection, you may be in need of root canal treatment. Give us a call today and we will advise on the best course of action for you.