The term alone is enough to scare anyone away from the dental office for a few years, at least. Root canal procedures are notorious for the painful process and recovery period, and for a good reason. Plaque buildup, bacteria and acids have chipped away at your tooth leading it to rot completely if not taken care of in a timely fashion.


Once you have accepted your doom, your teeth will be completely reformed. All of the rotting pulp and nerve tissue will be removed, followed by a filling of gutta percha – a compound that takes the place of your natural tissues while saving as much of the original tooth as possible. The pain following a root canal can possibly be just as painful, if not more painful than the actual infection itself if not treated correctly.


The dental surgeons at A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe are skilled professionals in making a root canal procedure as pain-free as possible, although there is no avoiding the initial couple days of recovery. Here are a few tips on how to shorten the recovery time, for a quicker healing period, making the painful procedure worth it in the end. If you follow these steps, you will avoid any infection or further dental problem caused by the root canal treatment.


  1. Avoid chewing on the side of the mouth your root canal procedure was on until the numbness from the anesthetic completely subsides. If not, you will likely bite your cheek or tongue without knowing, causing further damage and possible areas to contract infection.
  2. Ice packs or frozen peas will get you through the pain and decrease swelling. Just like any other injury or surgery, ice for only thirty minutes at a time, waiting thirty minutes before reapplying.
  3. Elevate your head when you sleep for the first week after your treatment. An unhealthy flow of blood to your wound can cause swelling and blood clots.
  4. Rinse with warm water and salt for the next few days after treatment. This is a natural way to soothe any sores in your mouth as salt is a natural antibacterial ingredient.
  5. To avoid dry sockets, do not smoke anything for 24 hours. Also, avoid tobacco altogether during this time will avoid any other infection or increased pain/throbbing.
  6. No physical activity for at least 48 hours after surgery. The best way to heal a root canal fast is to let it do the healing on its own. Being patient for 48 hours beats having to go back to the dentist for another stitchup or reevaluation for surgery.


If there is an excessive amount of swelling or pain after the first 48 hours and you have done everything to contain the area where the root canal procedure was done, contact A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe in Houston, Texas for a reevaluation. Do not ignore symptoms of an infected tooth or inflamed root canal.