If you are scheduled for a root canal, you may be wondering if you need to take special precautions after the procedure to ensure the tooth heals properly. A root canal is a complex treatment meant to save a severely damaged tooth. During the procedure, the dentist will extract the decayed pulp, clean it, fill it, and then place a crown on the tooth. And, because a root canal usually requires minor surgery, you will have to keep a few recommendations in mind to ensure the site will heal nicely. And, some of these recommendations include not smoking.
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T SMOKE AFTER A ROOT CANAL
Research shows that smokers are more likely to need a root canal than non-smokers and are more likely to experience complications after a root canal.
Smoking after a root canal can slow down and even negatively affect the healing process. That’s because when you smoke, the harmful chemicals you are ingesting are affecting the blood flow and reducing the oxygen carried to the surgery site. Moreover, smoking also leads to inflammation and that can also affect the healing process. Not only that, but infections are also more likely to occur if there is inflammation.
WHEN CAN I SMOKE AGAIN AFTER A ROOT CANAL?
If you are a smoker, giving up this habit cold-turkey can be quite difficult, even if it’s only for a few days. A root canal takes around two weeks to heal completely and it’s advisable you avoid smoking during this period. It’s especially important to avoid smoking in the first 24 to 48 hours after the procedure as the site will be highly sensitive and more prone to infections.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I DO AFTER A ROOT CANAL
A root canal is the last resort before extraction and perhaps the last chance to save your natural tooth. So, you need to make sure that the treatment is successful by following a few at-home aftercare tips:
- Avoid eating or drinking very cold or very hot beverages a few hours after the root canal. Your mouth will be numb from the anesthesia and because you won’t feel much, there’s a higher chance you might hurt yourself.
- Stick to soft foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, or soups for a couple of days after the root canal. You should also eat on the other side so that you don’t irritate the surgery site.
- Avoid smoking for at least three days after the root canal and ideally for about two weeks after the procedure.
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If you are experiencing severe tooth pain and think you may need a root canal or if you just want to come for a regular appointment, at Redmond Art of Dentistry you can find everything you need.
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