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Your local dentist will need to perform a root canal if cavities have penetrated your enamel and risk causing root and bone damage underneath the gum line. The process would be excruciating without anesthesia, which is typical for procedures of this nature.

That said, anesthesia eventually wears off, and the area in question will feel a bit sore for a few days. In the event pain continues, here are some ways to manage pain and seek help after a root canal:

Avoid Chewing Hard Foods

Since the top of your tooth was worked on, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth for a few days. This means forgoing foods such as apples or anything that requires constant chewing. When possible, go on a soft diet for the first week to maximize recovery.


Pain felt after the root canal is due to the cleaning procedure done. Your local dentist created a small opening at the top of the tooth and used a special instrument to flush out the infected pulp from inside.

Afterward, the area could feel sore and slightly discomforting due to the anesthetic wearing off. You can go to any pharmacy to get OTC medication such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen to wear down the pain. Always verify this with your local dentist to ensure it doesn’t overlap with other medicines or vitamins you’re already taking.

Request Prescriptions

If the pain continues after a week and x-rays show your tooth pulp has been thoroughly cleaned, it could be that the damage was more severe than initially thought. Thus, the recovery period is much longer. Your local dentist may temporarily give you prescription-strength ibuprofen or even narcotic pain relievers to further the healing process.

Avoid Intense Workouts

Intense workouts such as weightlifting or long-distance cardio can aggravate your recovery and increase discomfort. These exercises increase blood flow, causing the affected area to throb more and make the pain more discernible. It is wise to temporarily stop intense workouts for the time being until the pain goes away completely.

Opt for much lighter workouts instead, such as walking, meditation, yoga, tai chi, and stretching, so you still get a good seat in without aggravating your recovery.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Even with your tooth’s pulp good as new, thanks to a root canal at your local dentist’s, you still need to keep up with your oral hygiene routine to prevent those infections from happening again. Remember to:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. Move the brush gently, in circular motions, especially around the area in question.

  • Floss at least once a day to prevent cavities from forming and entering your tooth from the gum line.

  • Lessen the sugary foods and drinks you consume. This lowers the risk of cavities forming around your tooth and penetrating its enamel again.

  • Drink eight glasses of water or more per day to flush out cavities from your mouth.

  • Schedule regular prophylaxis with your local dentist at least twice a year or once every six months.

When All Else Fails, Get Your Tooth Extracted

Perhaps the tooth was beyond salvaging when the root canal took place, hence the constant pain over a week later. Tooth extraction with a successive bridge, denture, or implant procedure is the most logical treatment to eliminate chronic pain.


Apply the above practical, preventive methods for pain after a root canal treatment for a quick recovery. Only when they don’t work can you revisit your local dentist to see whether you need stronger pain medication and more recovery time or a more permanent solution to chronic pain.

Visit your Dental House MI today for proper tooth pain treatment from a local dentist in Ann Arbor. We practice preventive, cosmetic, and other procedures to restore your smile! Book an appointment with us today!

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Ann Arbor Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Thur 9am - 6pm, Fri & Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 4860 Washtenaw Ave D, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Waterford Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 5979 Highland Rd, Waterford Twp, MI 48327
West Bloomfield Dentist Office
Hours : Monday, Wednesday to Friday 9am - 6pm
Address : 6595 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield, MI 48322
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