When to call us
It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal, but call us right away if you have:
- Pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond two or three days
- A reaction to the medication
- If once the anesthetic has worn off you have pain when biting, or your bite feels off, you may have a “high bite” and your restoration may need adjusted. You will need to return to the office for an adjustment to avoid breaking the tooth or injuring the nerve. It takes under 10 minutes to adjust and you should call us at (513) 245-2200 to have it taken care of right away.
Follow these instructions carefully to ensure the successful healing of your tooth after the root canal.
- Do not eat or drink anything until the anesthetic has worn off.
- Do not use the tooth to bite down on anything hard (peanuts, pretzels, ice, etc.) for 24 hours.
- You may floss and brush your tooth as normal, unless told otherwise by the doctor.
- If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infections are gone.
- Some minor discomfort in the area is normal following the root canal. Sometimes, depending on circumstances, the tooth and surrounding tissues may remain sore for a few weeks post treatment. The three most common reasons for pain are:
- Sore jaw joint from having your mouth open for a prolonged time.
- Sore muscle from the injection site.
- Sore tooth when biting down from a “high bite.” This occurs when your new restoration is seated higher than your natural tooth was and can be quickly corrected by adjusting the restoration at our office. It is important that you get the bite adjusted right away to avoid breaking the restoration or damaging the nerve. If you experience a high bite, call the office at (513) 245-2200.
For soreness or swelling:
Reduce soreness or swelling by applying moist heat. Swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours.
Further reduce swelling by rinsing your mouth very gently with warm salt water. Use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water.
For pain management:
To control discomfort, take pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off or as recommended. If you were not prescribed a pain medication by us but are experiencing pain after your appointment, we recommend taking over the counter pain medication. We recommend combining two Ibuprofens (such as Motrin) with two Acetaminophens (such as Tylenol).
Although 95% of root canals cause very little to no discomfort after the treatment is completed, there are about 5% of cases which can cause significant pain. These are commonly referred to as “flare-ups.” They mostly occur on badly infected teeth, teeth that are extremely irritated, or teeth that have a history of prior treatment. Sometimes, however, they occur randomly, even on patients that have had several root canals done previously without any problems.
If you have a flare up you may experience moderate to severe pain, swelling (can get as large as a golf ball), bruising, throbbing, and general discomfort, which usually begins hours after treatment and may last 2-3 days.
Please contact our office at (513) 245-2200 if you experience any of these symptoms.