If you need a root canal, you may be worried about how much pain you will feel after the procedure and what should be done if you feel any. Here are a few frequently asked questions about pain following a root canal.
Is it Normal to Feel Pain After a Root Canal?
It is completely normal to feel some pain immediately following a root canal. The area that has been worked on can be irritated and stretched from the procedure and from the infection itself. It will take time for the swelling and irritation to decrease. Until this occurs, you may feel some pain.
What Can Be Done About Pain After a Root Canal?
Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can help to reduce the amount of pain you experience after a root canal and keep swelling to a minimum. Placing an ice pack on the side of your face can also help with the pain and swelling. It is recommended that you can keep an ice pack on the face for 10 minutes and then off the face for 10 minutes for the first eight hours after the procedure.
Another way to minimize the pain you experience after a root canal is to be careful about what foods you eat. Chewing on hard foods can cause you pain. Eating or drinking hot or cold foods and drinks can also cause pain from sensitivity in the area. Stick to soft foods served slightly cooled or warmed to decrease your pain level.
Lastly, be sure to brush the affected area gently. Do not brush vigorously, or the area can bleed or begin to swell. Saltwater rinses can also help to keep the area clean.
When Should the Pain Subside?
The pain you experience following a root canal should last a few days. If the pain does not begin to subside within a few days or you begin to have discharge from the affected area, you should contact the dentist who performed the root canal. This can be a sign of infection. The dentist will likely have you come into their office and visually look at the tooth and gums where the root canal was performed. If needed, x-rays may also be taken as they can shown an infection in the root and nerve system. If an infection is present, antibiotics will likely be given. In some instances, a second root canal may be needed.
If you have never had a root canal before, you may be unsure what to expect as far as pain goes after the procedure. Getting answers to your questions will help you to learn if pain is normal, how to minimize pain and when the pain should subside after a root canal is done.