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A root canal is an endodontic procedure used to repair and save a tooth that is damaged or infected, instead of removing it. The procedure of a root canal is simple; the pulp cavity and the nerve of the decayed tooth is removed, and the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned to drive any and all the bacteria out. 

This cleaned tooth is then filled with a rubber-like filling called “gutta percha”, and sealed with a paste, so that none of that filling leaks out. The freshly repaired tooth is very delicate and requires extra care. So, a metal crown, usually made of metal, porcelain or ceramics, is used to deliver protection to the newly filled-up tooth.

Even though a root canal is meant to relieve you from the pain of a decaying tooth, it can sometimes lead to complications, and might even force you to make a visit to a dentist or two.

Pain after a root canal treatment

During the root canal procedure, the pulp and the nerve of the tooth are removed, to deep clean the inside of the tooth and seal it. During this process, irritation of the surrounding nerves, causing pain is very natural. It is fine as long as the pain lasts only a few days and can be easily handled by taking mild analgesics. But sometimes, the pain becomes too difficult to deal with, and that is when you should ideally set an appointment with your orthodontist again. Causes of pain could be many things – from an undetected crack to a root canal infection, there are many reasons that could cause pain and swelling

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Root Canal Infection

The odds of a root canal infection happening are quite low. But that said, the probability cannot be ruled out. Sometimes when the inside of your tooth isn’t properly cleaned, or if there is an undiscovered crack at the root of your tooth, the occurrence of infection is very likely. An infection can also occur in case of a bacterial infiltration into your intricate inner tooth. Symptoms of an infection might include pain, discomfort, inflammation and even pus discharge in some extreme cases. The ideal way to deal with a root canal infection would be to re-clean the tooth and fill it again with the rubber-like polymer (“gutta percha”) and crown it with a metal (of choice) for protection.

Although, the root canal infection is usually not something to dread, and can be easily managed by maintaining a healthy dental routine and regular visits to the dentist.

Inflammation

Thanks to modern dental technologies and advanced anesthetics, a root canal treatment is mostly pain-free. But inflammation post a root canal procedure is almost certainly due to the procedure itself. But the swelling should usually last for a few days and then resolve on its own.

Food choices after a root canal treatment

Post a root canal procedure, the tooth, without the pulp and the nerve, is healthy but delicate. Even though it has a new metal crown for its protection now, it still needs careful handling. For instance, consuming hard food even when the numbness of the tooth isn’t fully gone can lead to additional complications like a root canal infection. This is the reason why dentists advise people not to consume hard and crunchy substances like carrots, apples, cashews, nuts etc. Even chewing gums and spicy food that can sensitize your gums aren’t advisable. Additionally, alcohol must be absolutely avoided as it can actually accelerate the bleeding in your tooth.

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In order to avoid irritating the tooth, one can consume things like smoothies, shakes, bananas and yogurts, that go easy on your recently infected or damaged tooth.

Filling too high

A usual problem with fillings is that sometimes it might prove to be too big or too high for you. An easy way to check if the filling is too big for you is to clench both of your jaws and see if you feel any soreness or tension. An uneven filling can make regular activities like eating and talking a painful job. Hence, in case the filling is too high, you should visit a dentist to get it fixed.

Choice of braces after a root canal treatment

Even though it is absolutely safe to wear teeth braces after a root canal treatment, you have to be careful about the type of teeth brace that you choose for yourself. Usually, your dentist would design a brace that would least interfere with the delicate inside of your tooth, and also push your recently damaged tooth very gently in order to not break it again.

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