What to eat after root canal therapy

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General Dental Care
BHSc (Dent), MDent (La Trobe)

Root canal therapy is sometimes indicated to save a badly decayed and infected tooth. Your dentist or dental specialist will remove the infected pulp (nerve), clean the inside of the tooth and seal it up. Like all dental or medical procedures, there are several steps involved and certain instructions that you will need to follow afterwards. This includes what you can eat and drink.

So what can I eat and drink after my root canal therapy?

After your root canal therapy, your mouth will likely still feel numb from the anaesthetic your dentist has used. The sensation will usually return to normal within the next couple of hours, but until it does, you need to be careful what you eat and drink so that you don’t accidentally injure yourself. Ideally you should not eat anything hot, you should avoid any hard, crunchy or particularly sticky foods, and you should try not to chew on the treated side of your mouth. Limiting your intake to slippery, soft and cool or lukewarm foods is the way to go!

What about between root canal treatment appointments?

root canal therapy

Most of the time, root canal treatment is carried out over two or three visits. In between these appointments, the tooth that is being treated will have a temporary filling material placed in it. These fillings are not designed to tolerate heavy forces, so it is important not to put extreme pressure on the area as this might cause the filling to chip or break. If you do find that you have damaged your filling, it is important to have it repaired or replaced so that bacteria do not get into the tooth and re-infect it.

Keep in mind that your tooth may feel a little sore or tender for a few days after any of your root canal therapy appointments. This is a normal response and part of your body’s healing process. If the discomfort is hard to bear, you can take over-the-counter analgesics, or any medications that have been prescribed for you by your treating dentist or specialist.

Remember to keep up good oral hygiene between appointments and after your root canal treatment, and try to prevent further decay by minimising how often you eat foods with added sugar!

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