Managing Infection-Related Pain After A Root Canal

Root canals have earned a reputation for being painful dental procedures throughout the years. What many dental patients fail to realize is that it isn't the root canal itself that causes the pain, but rather the infection that is affecting the tooth and causing it to require root canal therapy that serves as a source of pain.

Managing your pain level after a root canal is best accomplished when you manage the infection. Here are three tips that you can use to help ensure your tooth infection doesn't make your root canal recovery more painful than necessary in the future.

1. Take your antibiotic.

If your tooth is infected, your dentist will likely prescribe an antibiotic for you to take in the days following your root canal. The antibiotic works in coordination with your body's immune system to help get rid of the infection, which results in a reduction of your pain levels.

It's important to remember that it can take between 24 and 48 hours for the antibiotics to really start working, so you should be patient in allowing your body and the drugs time to help alleviate both your infection and your pain.

2. Take an anti-inflammatory.

When your tooth is plagued by an infection, the periodontal fibers that anchor your tooth to your jawbone can become stretched and inflamed. As your dentist jostles these periodontal fibers during the root canal treatment, additional inflammation can occur.

Easing any inflammation that is present within your periodontal fibers after your root canal is complete can be beneficial in alleviating your pain. Take an anti-inflammatory drug (like ibuprofen) as directed to help maintain your comfort throughout the root canal recovery period.

3. Go on a soft diet.

The foods that you eat following your root canal could have a significant impact on your pain levels. Teeth that have been treated with root canals are often more brittle and sensitive than regular teeth during the recovery process.

As you bite down on hard or crunchy food items the resulting pressure could disrupt the infection, sending shooting pain through the area where your dentist severed the nerve during your root canal and potentially causing the infection to spread. By opting to eat a diet consisting of soft foods like soup, yogurt, and oatmeal during the first few days after your treatment, you can avoid causing yourself unnecessary pain.

Knowing how to manage infection after a root canal can help make these necessary dental procedures more tolerable in the future. For more information, contact a local dentist, like one from Webster Cosmetic Dental LTD.