How can I Deal with Soreness After a Root Canal?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Dentists use a root canal to remove the nerve and pulp of a tooth that has become diseased or infected.
Dentists use a root canal to remove the nerve and pulp of a tooth that has become diseased or infected.

Pain relievers are often helpful for taking care of soreness after a root canal. If your dentist has prescribed a pain reliever for you, taking it within one hour of leaving his office may help you to avoid pain and soreness. Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen may prove helpful for this purpose as well. You may also find that eating soft foods, chewing on the opposite side of the mouth, and avoiding eating or drinking foods that are extremely hot or cold may help. Additionally, you may avoid hard brushing in the area until the soreness subsides and use an ice pack to help minimize your discomfort.

Applying  an ice pack can help reduce the swelling and inflammation to the area.
Applying an ice pack can help reduce the swelling and inflammation to the area.

One of the best ways to deal with the initial soreness that is common after a root canal is with the use of a pain reliever. Your dentist may prescribe a pain reliever, and taking it within an hour of the root canal procedure may help you to head off discomfort before it begins. If your dentist does not prescribe pain medication for your use, you may relieve soreness with an over-the-counter medication. For example, you may find that acetaminophen or ibuprofen helps you stay comfortable. As with prescription pain medication, you may benefit most if you take it within an hour of the root canal.

Ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling after a root canal.
Ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling after a root canal.

In addition to pain medication, taking care with how and what you eat may prove helpful. For example, for the first day or two after a root canal, you may benefit by consuming softer foods that are less likely to irritate your mouth. You may also do well to avoid temperature extremes during the initial days after treatment. In many cases, consuming foods or drinks that are very hot or very cold will only make the soreness you feel worse. Likewise, you may help minimize soreness after a root canal by concentrating on chewing on the side of the mouth that is opposite the one on which you had the root canal.

Sometimes taking external measures may help to relieve soreness after a root canal. For example, you may benefit from applying an ice pack to your cheek. Warm compresses may prove helpful as well.

Overly energetic tooth brushing may make the soreness after a root canal worse. To give your tender gum tissue a chance to heal, you may do well to use a softer, slower brushing technique for the first couple of days after a root canal. You may even consider switching to a softer toothbrush temporarily.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Discussion Comments

serenesurface

@literally45-- I had soreness for a week after my root canal. If yours lasts more than that, see your dentist because it could be infected. You will need antibiotics in that case.

ZipLine

@literally45-- I'm sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, pain after root canal is unavoidable. It will eventually go away but you will be sore for a while.

Has the dentist recommended a pain reliever? If not, take something like ibuprofen every eight hours. Also, put an ice pack on your cheek, on the side where you had the root canal. This will help with soreness, swelling and pain. You can also take a warm tea bag (not hot) and keep it on top of your teeth for a while.

Try not to eat foods that require chewing. Have things like mashed potatoes, yogurt, applesauce and smoothies for a few days.

This is exactly what I did when I had my root canal and it really made a difference.

literally45

I had root canal treatment today. I was fine until a few hours ago because the dentist had numbed me before the treatment. The pain has just kicked in now and the soreness is unbearable.

I'm feeling miserable right now and I can barely speak. I wasn't not expecting so much soreness and pain.

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    • Dentists use a root canal to remove the nerve and pulp of a tooth that has become diseased or infected.
      By: Balint Radu
      Dentists use a root canal to remove the nerve and pulp of a tooth that has become diseased or infected.
    • Applying  an ice pack can help reduce the swelling and inflammation to the area.
      By: rimglow
      Applying an ice pack can help reduce the swelling and inflammation to the area.
    • Ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling after a root canal.
      By: Geo Martinez
      Ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling after a root canal.