Home Care Instructions After Endodontic Treatment

Patients often experience some discomfort for a day or so after endodontic therapy, especially when chewing.  Cleaning diseased tissue from the root canals may cause inflammation of the surrounding gum, ligament and bone; and, if these tissues hurt before treatment, it may take additional time for the soreness to go away.
You can help minimize side effects by following these suggestions:

  1. Avoid eating sticky or crunchy foods. The opening in your tooth through which treatment is accomplished has been closed with a temporary seal, which can withstand only limited normal chewing pressure.
  2. The rubber dam retainer can cause gum irritation around the tooth. Warm, salty water (1/2 tsp/1 cup) rinses for several days will help relieve this soreness.
  3. For pain relief, take the same medication you normally use for a headache, or the medication prescribed by our office. Take pain relievers at the onset of even slight pain and repeat as directed.
  4. If your root canals and the surrounding tissues were infected when you came to our office, we may have prescribed antibiotics. Take these as directed until they are all gone.
  5. As endodontic treatment frequently requires long appointments, you may experience some soreness in your jaw muscles and jaw joint. Cold compresses on the day of your appointment, and moist heat compresses for several days thereafter are recommended for relief.

We expect the side effects from root canal disease to diminish within several days after the initial treatment.  If instead, pain becomes worse, or if infection develops or worsens, please call our office at (770) 924-0423.

We advise the permanent restoration by your family dentist be placed within 2-3 weeks after root canal therapy completion to provide the final layer of protection against bacterial penetration, and to help ensure favorable healing.