What to Expect From Root Canal Therapy Side Effects

Picture this: You go to the dentist for your checkup and cleaning, and the doctor informs you that you need a root canal.

You may imagine something scary and painful, but a root canal procedure is relatively simple. It involves the dentist cleaning out infected pulp from the inside of your tooth. Ultimately, it will stop pain and decay from progressing further.

Once you’re done with your root canal procedure, you may have to deal with some side effects. Read on to learn more about common root canal therapy side effects and what you can do to feel comfortable.


A root canal procedure is major, and sometimes it can feel like oral surgery. Therefore, the region will be sensitive after the novocaine or lidocaine wears off.

Try not to irritate the area. Avoid eating crunchy, spicy, or sticky foods that could get stuck in your gum or bother the region even more.

Pain and Discomfort

Local anesthesia can get you through the initial root canal treatment, but what about afterward? Unfortunately, pain and discomfort are both very common symptoms that you will experience following a root canal.

Since the root canal procedure goes deeper than a typical filling, it also requires more numbing. Therefore, you will likely feel pain from both the needle injections and the procedure itself.

Swelling and Inflammation

When a part of your gum is irritated, there will no doubt be swelling and inflammation. This can range from uncomfortable to downright painful.

Ice can help decrease swelling and provide numbing relief. Apply an ice pack periodically to the outside of the affected area. Make sure it’s wrapped in a towel or cloth so it doesn’t burn your skin.

Increased Risk of Infection

Any oral surgery increases the risk of infection, and root canal surgery is no exception. Your dentist or endodontist may prescribe you antibiotics to reduce the chance of infection.

You should also ensure no food gets stuck in the area and continue with your usual oral care routine.

How to Take Care of Yourself

After your root canal procedure, try to rest and relax if you can. Once the numbing wears off, ensure you have plenty of over-the-counter painkillers, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

You may get a temporary crown to protect your tooth. It’s important to avoid stressing the temporary crown so it can stay on until you have a permanent solution.

Know These Root Canal Therapy Side Effects

If you are scared to get your first root canal, you no longer have to worry. By knowing the root canal therapy side effects, you’ll be much better prepared for the procedure and what to expect after it is over.

Are you having symptoms of a serious tooth problem? Do you want to come in for a checkup? Don’t wait. Schedule a visit with Dr. Pham to take care of all of your dental needs.

With over 15 years of dentistry experience, we’re the partner you need for pristine dental care. If you’re in the Redlands area, contact us today.