Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 6-03-2023
Are you experiencing extreme dental pain? Is one of your teeth darkening in colour, or is the surrounding gum line inflamed and tender? These signs could point to an infection within the pulp and canals of your tooth. If this is the case, your dentist will likely recommend a root canal.
One of the most common questions from patients who need a root canal is, “What can I eat after my procedure?” It’s an important question, as eating the wrong foods can lead to further injury and more pain. In this article, we will discuss the do’s and don’ts of eating after your root canal surgery.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a safe and relatively common procedure that treats infection within the pulp of a tooth. These infections are extremely painful and can lead to facial swelling, bone damage, and tooth loss. Root canal treatments save the tooth by removing the infection. It tends to be more cost-effective than removing and replacing the tooth with an implant or denture.
When can you eat after a root canal?
There is a good chance that you will be hungry after your root canal procedure. However, eating right away can be a mistake. You should wait until the numbness from the aesthetic has disappeared completely, which can take a few hours. Otherwise, you may bite or burn the sedated part of your mouth without realizing it.
It’s a good idea to chew on the opposite side of the treatment because biting down on or chewing with the treated tooth can damage it.
Tips for Eating Immediately After a Root Canal Surgery
You can try eating once you have regained feeling in your mouth. That being said, you should eat as carefully as possible. Choose soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. When you have to chew, do so slowly. You should also avoid very hot food and drinks as these can damage the temporary filling placed over the tooth after the root canal.
Fruit smoothies, yogurt, and soft cereal are good options to consider having immediately after your surgery. Remember, your mouth will be swollen and extra sensitive. These foods are easier to eat and will soothe your mouth, not irritate it. Plus, they will satisfy your hunger!
What to Eat After a Root Canal
After your root canal, it’s crucial that you only consume soft foods. Here are some fantastic, easy-to-eat options:
- Soft cereals
- Ripe, canned, or cooked fruit
- Fruit smoothies
- Oatmeal or cream of wheat
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed or cooked vegetables
- Luke-warm soup
- Pasta or noodles
- Soft bread
- Tuna salad
What Not to Eat After a Root Canal
Eating the wrong thing after a root canal surgery can result in pain and injury. Follow these guidelines for a successful recovery:
- Do not eat crunchy or hard foods, as these can damage the tooth and cause a lot of pain. They can even damage the surgical site. Avoid carrots, corn on the cob, apples, ice, candy, peanut brittle, and nuts.
- Do not eat chewy or sticky foods such as gum, bread, candy, and taffy. These can pull out the temporary crown.
- Avoid overly hot or cold food and drinks. Your gums and teeth may be extra-sensitive to temperatures post-surgery, so stick to mild temperatures. Very hot or cold items can irritate these sensitive areas, causing pain and discomfort.
- Avoid spicy foods, as these can also lead to unnecessary discomfort in sensitive areas.
- Avoid alcohol, as it can increase bleeding.
Root Canal Treatment Aftercare
Of course, you want a speedy and successful recovery after your root canal surgery. You will need to avoid foods that can damage the treated tooth. Alternatively, you need to focus on foods that fill your appetite without impeding the healing process.
Root canal aftercare, however, goes beyond what you eat. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. Be gentle around sensitive areas. It’s best not to floss on either side of your temporary filling or crown since you can risk pulling it out.
You can rinse with lukewarm salt water to combat inflammation and discomfort. Swish this around your mouth for a minute before spitting it out. Remember, slight discomfort is normal for a few days after your surgery.
When to Contact Your Dentist
It’s normal to feel discomfort, sensitivity, or simply a different sensation on your treated tooth after your root canal procedure. However, you should still monitor your recovery. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your dentist immediately.
- Severe pain or pressure that lasts for more than a few days.
- Visible swelling inside or outside the mouth.
- Rash, hives, or itching. These could point to an allergic reaction to your medication.
- The temporary crown or filling comes out.
- Your bite feels uneven.
- You have a fever.
Root Canal Therapy in Milton, Ontario
At Milltown Dental, our team of professional and experienced dental professionals is here to help. We want you to feel informed, comfortable, and confident about your upcoming root canal treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, we are ready to listen and explain both the procedure and aftercare.
With more than 15 years of experience in the dental industry, you and your dental health are in safe hands. Contact us today for more information.