Each tooth in our mouth has a crown (externally visible teeth), dentin, pulp and one or more roots depending upon the tooth. The pulp tissue houses the nerves and blood vessels that supply our teeth. Due to improper oral hygiene, bacteria can accumulate around the teeth and can cause dental cavities due to tooth decay. The infection can progress further into the teeth and can infect the pulp within the tooth. Some of the signs of an infected tooth are tooth sensitivity, swelling, toothache, etc. If the infection is left untreated, it can lead to eventual tooth loss.
When the pulp of a tooth is infected, root canal treatment can help in salvaging the tooth. In a root canal treatment, the dentist will open up the top portion of your teeth to access the pulp chamber. The infected tissue is removed and the root canals are prepared to accommodate the filling. Since Root canal treatment is a major procedure, there are some instructions that one needs to follow to have a successful treatment.
Wait for the numbness to wear off
Anesthesia is routinely used in almost all cases of root canal treatment to make the procedure as painless as possible. After the procedure, wait for the numbness to wear off before eating food of any kind. Eating food before the anesthesia can wear off and can put you under the risk of unknowingly biting your tongue or cheek. Food can be taken on the same day as the procedure. Your dentist will give you clear instructions about what you should and shouldn’t eat. As a general rule, do not bite and chew food using the tooth that has been treated for a few days until it has fully healed.
Continue with the normal oral hygiene routine
Getting a root canal does not mean that you shouldn’t brush and floss your teeth afterward. You should follow your normal oral hygiene routine after your root canal procedure unless your dentist instructs you otherwise.
Seek immediate care if
- You notice visible persistent swelling around the treated tooth or anywhere in your mouth. Swelling can be a sign of post-root canal infection or it can be caused due to an allergic reaction to anesthetics or medications.
- You have persistent toothaches. Usually, after a root canal treatment, it is normal to feel tender around the treated tooth while eating or while talking, etc. If the pain persists for more than a few days, it could be a bad sign.
- You feel that the filling is out of place, or if your crown breaks or cracks.
People who smoke are strictly advised to abstain from smoking after a root canal treatment. Apart from all the other harmful effects of smoking, it also impairs and slows down the healing process after the treatment. Regardless of getting a root canal treatment, you should quit smoking for a healthy mouth and body. If you are unable to quit, you should at the least not smoke for a few days until your root canal completed teeth heals.
Adhere to the dentist’s instruction strictly
Although we have mentioned some of the general guidelines to follow after a root canal treatment, your dentist knows your teeth better. So it is important to keenly listen to their advice on post-procedural care and follow it strictly.