Root Canal Pain: Tips and Advice for Patients

By J. Brent Gorrell on June 18, 2019

X-ray of a root canal infectionWhen tooth decay or a fracture goes untreated, bacteria in the mouth can wind up in the pulp chamber within the tooth. This results in an infection of the dental pulp, which you know better as a root canal infection. These can be quite painful, and without treatment, the infection can spread through the mouth. Dr. J. Brent Gorrell performs state-of-the-art endodontic therapy to treat root canal infections at his Mountain View, CA dental practice.

Many patients have misconceptions about root canal treatment. It has a reputation for being extremely painful, though that’s not quite the reality of the procedure. Let’s talk about pain during and after a root canal, and what patients can do to minimize this discomfort.

How Painful Is a Root Canal?

Thanks to modern anesthetics and pain management techniques, the pain experienced during a root canal procedure is minimal. That said, there may be considerable soreness in the days after a root canal has been performed.

Keep in mind that while you may experience discomfort after a root canal, it is only temporary. The pain is also much more manageable than the pain associated with an infected tooth going untreated.

Will I Need to Take Time Off from Work?

It depends on the patient and their job. Some patients can return to work the day after a root canal. Other patients may want to take a day or two off. Taking time off is recommended for people who work in physically demanding fields or have a job that involves a lot of public interaction. This can be discussed in greater detail during the pre-root canal consultation at our Mountain View dental practice.

How Long Will the Pain Last?

The most significant pain from a root canal typically lasts for a few days. Patients will elpeirnedce improvements in pain from day to day, and marked improvement by the end of a week.

Pain Medication After a Root Canal

To manage the pain after a root canal, patients are often prescribed pain killers. These should be taken only as directed. When the pain is more tolerable, patients should switch to over-the-counter pain medications instead.

Temporarily Modifying Your Diet After a Root Canal

Modifying your diet is one good way to help reduce pain and discomfort after a root canal. Stick with liquids and soft foods for the first few days after your root canal. Try to avoid chewing with the side of your mouth that was worked on if possible. Foods and beverages should be room temperature to help avoid tooth sensitivity from hot or cold substances.

What If My Pain Does Not Improve?

If your pain doesn’t improve after a root canal or gets worse, patients should contact our Mountain View dental center right away. This could be a sign of a complication or an issue with the crown that was placed on the treated tooth. Whatever the case may be, it’s important it receive professional care as soon as possible.

Learn More About Root Canal Therapy

To learn more about root canal therapy and what to expect following the procedure, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. You can reach our practice by phone at (650) 967-1441.

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I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever. Kevin B.

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Mountain View Office

809 Cuesta Dr
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Mountain View Office

809 Cuesta Dr
Ste 205
Mountain View, CA 94040

More Info Directions (650) 967-1441