Root canal therapy is a procedure that can save a tooth that is damaged on the inside. Without root canal, a tooth that has deadened nerves will eventually decay and fall out. A root canal thoroughly cleanses the tooth from the inside, clearing out dead pulp and replacing it with a strong filling material. The tooth is then sealed and secured with a crown, continuing on as a “functioning” tooth that is free from decay.
During a root canal procedure
, the area is thoroughly numbed and the dentist performs the procedure on one tooth. After root canal, the patient will continue to be numb for a few hours in the area of the mouth where the treated tooth is. It is best not to try to eat until the numbness completely wears off. It is difficult to eat when your mouth is numb, and chewing may cause you to inadvertently bite your tongue or cheek.Once the numbness has subsided, your newly restored tooth could be damaged by chewing hard foods too soon. You should stick to soft foods for a few days. During this time, don’t drink anything through a straw, as the sucking action could disturb the filling material in the treated tooth. Avoid the temptation to chew mostly on the side that was not treated by the root canal. Unbalanced chewing could cause soreness in the jaw on the side that is doing most of the chewing action. You can chew soft foods normally.
If you received a temporary filling after your root canal, it is especially important to avoid hard foods until you return to the office for your final filling or crown. Temporary fillings are less secure and could be dislodged by attempting to bite into hard foods like apples, or crunchy foods like nuts.
After you have a permanent restoration for the treated tooth, you should be able to eat your normal diet without problems. Eating may feel different for awhile after a root canal. This is due to the changes that were made to the tooth that was treated. This feeling usually goes away in a few days.
What Can I Eat After a Root Canal?
Dr. Gary Leff
Dr. Gary Leff explains what is and is not safe to eat post root canal!