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What can you eat after root canal treatment? Do you have to go on a liquid diet? WIll the root canal treated tooth pain if you eat with it? These and more questions about eating after root canal treatment answered.

There is a serious lack of information about root canal treatment even in pretty developed countries, which makes patients wary about getting the procedure done. Fear about the pain involved, the recovery period, eating after getting root canal treatment done, and the length of the procedure are some of the common worries that patients have.

Eating, in particular, can be a tricky subject. There is numbness after anesthesia, some pain, and discomfort in the treated tooth, and the fear of fracturing a tooth that makes difficult to figure out the best course of action.

Can I eat after root canal treatment?

Yes. Absolutely. There is nothing to suggest that eating after root canal treatment should be a problem or that patients should go on a "liquid diet" [1]. In most cases, patients will have treatment on one side of the mouth being while the other remains unaffected.  Everything that a patient eats in daily life can be eaten without any worry [2].

The only precaution that people getting root canal treatment done is to avoid chewing down on anything too hard till the treatment is complete and a crown has been placed on top to protect the tooth, otherwise there is a risk of tooth fracture [3].

In some cases if the pain associated with tooth decay was quite severe to begin with or if the tooth is destroyed greatly, the dentist may advise people to not chew on the affected side at all for fear of fracturing the tooth further.

How soon can you after getting root canal treatment?

There is no set time that a patient has to wait in case of eating after root canal treatment, although it is generally advised to wait till the numbness from the anesthesia subsides. Local anesthesia can make it difficult to chew food properly and patients can end up biting their cheek [4].

Old people with weak muscles, people who are missing a lot of teeth, or young children are particularly prone to biting their cheek and injuring themselves if they try to chew under the effects of anesthesia [5].  

Drinking water or another beverage after getting root canal treatment is not a problem and can be had immediately afterward as well. Root canal patients who are diabetic or have strict meal timings are advised to schedule appointments after their meals so that there is no disruption to their schedule.

What can you eat after your root canal treatment?

There is nothing that is off-limits to eat after getting root canal treatment done, however, a few simple tips can be followed.

  • Food that is excessively hot should be avoided until the effect of the anesthesia wears off because there is a chance of causing a food burn [6].
  • Food that is very crunchy or requires a lot of biting pressure should not be eaten either. A person could end up biting down hard on the root canal treated tooth and end up breaking it [7].
  • Meat should be had off the bone to once again reduce the chances of biting down on anything too hard.

It should be understood at this point that biting down hard on the root canal treated tooth can not only cause a fracture or a break but also cause damage to the ligaments around the tooth and lead to pain. This pain is usually short-lived but in severe cases can last for a few days as well. Even root canal treated teeth that have been covered with a crown can suffer from this pain and discomfort after facing excessive chewing forces [8].

Can I have alcohol after getting root canal treatment?

In most cases, having a moderate amount of alcohol should not be a problem unless the dentist has prescribed antibiotics which react with alcohol [9]. In such an event, the dentist will usually give clear instructions to avoid beverages with alcoholic content completely.

There are likely to be some pain killers that are prescribed to patients as well. Mixing alcohol and pain-killers is not a very good option and so if possible alcohol must be avoided. The most commonly prescribed pain-killers are NSAID’s (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory) which will not cause any sedation or intoxication but erring on the side of caution is better [10].

If you are someone that likes to have a cigarette with alcohol then avoid both because there is enough evidence to prove that root canal failure is higher in people who smoke than in those who don’t. This is even true over a short period of time when the treatment is being carried out.

Conclusion

Eating after root canal treatment does not have to be a problem. A lot of patients assume they have to starve themselves or eat just liquid food. This, however, is going to do nothing except make them miserable. Yes, there are certain precautions that must be taken but nothing drastic or life-changing is necessary.

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