The 3 Top Tips for Recovering From a Root Canal

29 June 2022

A root canal is a common, necessary treatment to repair any damage that is no longer treatable with a simple filling. It is still less invasive than other treatments such as dental implants.

The recovery time is certainly faster, and the pain is also lessened. More information about the treatment can be found here in our blog, “How to Choose Between a Root Canal vs. a Replacement Tooth.”

With treatment time taking (in most cases) no more than one to two visits to your dental office, it is also the most time-effective option.

Here are the top three tips for a faster recovery. Your dentist can also discuss these in more detail with you during your visit.

1. Take the time to rest your mouth

It might sound obvious, but your mouth, gums, tooth, and jaw have just undergone a trauma.

They will need time to heal. A rest period is required, like anyone going through any form of surgery.

When it comes to eating, try to avoid doing so until you have fully regained the feeling in your mouth and tongue.

This will prevent any accidental biting of your cheek or tongue or even applying pressure to the tooth, all of which can lead to potential issues.

When you do start to eat again, try to avoid foods that require a lot of chewing, such as tough meats. Softer foods like soups or smoothies are a good alternative.

However, try to avoid foods that are very hot, contain alcohol, or that you need to drink through a straw. These are all things that have the potential to irritate the tooth and gums, thus leading to bleeding, pain, and possible complications.

Try to do a meal plan for a few days following the procedure to give your mouth adequate time to heal.

If you are a smoker, it is best to cut down on smoking (of any kind) for the next few days. If you do need to smoke, try to keep the cigarette or vape on the opposite side of your mouth to lessen pressure and subsequent irritation.

Keep in mind that fewer chemicals entering your mouth and body will help to speed up the recovery time.

2. Take time off from strenuous exercise

Did you know that even simple exercises like jogging can have an impact on your mouth? The way your body moves means that your jaw is “bounced” while jogging, or maybe you bite down without realizing it while lifting weights.

All of this can lead to your newly repaired tooth being jostled or stressed, and this can lead to discomfort and pain.

A root canal is regarded as oral surgery and is just as serious as any other form of surgery. Thus, we strongly recommend a rest period.

If you feel you cannot give up your full exercise routine, consider walking or yoga activities. However, avoid positions where your head is lower than the rest of your body, preventing stress and reducing the risk of bleeding.

By taking a short time off, you give your mouth the best opportunity to heal with the least amount of stress being put on it.

Ask your dentist at Oakville Place Dental what they recommend as an appropriate amount of time off from going to the gym or playing sports.

When you do return to your normal routine, it is best to discuss with a trainer the recommended exercises for people post-surgery. This allows you to get back into your routine gently and safely.

3. Get a good night’s sleep

You may have been told all your life that the best way to recover from anything is to get a good night’s sleep. This is certainly true when it comes to recovering from root canal surgery.

Try to keep your head elevated a little more than you normally would. This helps to maintain a good blood flow to the gums and relieves pressure from the site.

Pay attention to how your mouth feels, though. Too much elevation and you may not sleep properly, but a feeling of pressure and throbbing could indicate that your head is too low, leading to a worse night’s sleep.

Gargling with warm salt water helps to keep the tooth and gums clean while you sleep.

This helps to reduce the risk of infection and cleans the site. The recommended ratio for a saltwater rinse is half a teaspoon of salt (table salt is best, as it is finer and dissolves faster) to one cup of lukewarm water.

Don’t use hot water, as this will inflame the gums, increase the risk of bleeding at night, and cause discomfort.

The Key to a Strong Recovery from a Root Canal

Diet, rest, and sleep are three of the best ways to help your healing but do reach out to Oakville Place Dental with any concerns.

With over 25 years of experience proudly serving the families in the Oakville area, and providing excellent family dentistry services (including root canal surgeries), we have the expertise to guide you through the surgery and recovery.

Your dentist will take the time to discuss with you what to expect following the procedure, and provide advice on things like swelling or persistent bleeding, as these can be indicators of complications.

Remember that infections are quickly treated, and pain is easily managed.

The best thing you can do to help to ensure a fast recovery is to listen to your mouth and talk to your dentist should anything feel out of place.

Contact Oakville Place Dental Today

Interested in booking your root canal surgery at Oakville Place Dental or learning more about our other alternative services? We want to help. We invite you to call us at 1-647-496-2721 or contact us online.

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