Ways to Help Root Canals Heal

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Those who notice tooth sensitivity when eating sweets, generalized pain and similar symptoms may find themselves in need of a root canal treatment. Your dentist will remove the infected pulp, which is located in the center of each tooth, during a root canal. Cavities left untreated or damage to the pulp from injuries like a fractured tooth can make root canal treatment a necessity. After root canal treatment, you will need a crown to prevent your tooth from fracturing.

Ice Packs and Lifestyle Changes for Treatment

  • Place an ice pack or something cold over the affected area immediately after treatment. Reapply the ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes every hour during the first four to six hours. Do not chew on the affected side of your mouth. Do not exercise in the first day following your root canal treatment. Smoking should be avoided throughout the healing process.

Medications

  • Take a pain-relieving medication within an hour of receiving your root canal. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen tablets can be taken to reduce pain. Follow the product's instructions on the bottle before use. If you are prescribed pain medications, fill your prescription immediately and take the medication according to your dentist's instructions. In cases of infections, you may also be prescribed antibiotics. Take the full prescription.

Diet

  • Avoid drinking alcohol for the first two weeks following your root canal. You should also abstain from consuming or drinking soup, tea, coffee, ice cream and other hot and cold substances. A soft diet should be consumed for at least two days following your surgery. Crunchy foods should be avoided whenever possible during the healing process.

Post-Root Canal Treatment

  • Place a gauze pad over the root canal area immediately after surgery. If you continue to bleed for more than an hour, replace the gauze pad with another. If heavy bleeding persists for more than four hours after your surgery, contact your dentist or oral surgeon. Avoid rinsing the mouth in the first day following surgery. After that point, you may rinse your mouth with salt water four to five times a day during the ensuing three to four days. Continue to brush and floss your teeth as normal, but avoid the root canal area.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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