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Lifestyle Factors That Can Affect Root Canal Healing

If you do not want to have a damaged tooth extracted, your dentist can perform a root canal procedure to preserve your tooth. While the short recovery period for a root canal is typically uneventful, certain lifestyle factors can raise your risk for complications after your procedure. Here are some lifestyle factors that may raise your risk for developing problems after a root canal and what you can do about them:

Cigarette Smoking

Regardless of how minor a dental procedure is, good circulation is important to facilitate healing. Cigarette smoking can damage your capillaries, and when this happens, blood flow and circulation to your root canal site may not be optimal. In addition, cigarette smoke contains a number of harmful toxins that can permeate your gum tissue, raising your risk for infection after your dental procedure. If possible, quit smoking, or at least cut down, a couple days before your root canal procedure, and refrain from heavy smoking for a week or so after.

This will help promote good circulation so that your mouth can heal properly. If you are unable to quit or cut down on smoking on your own, see your physician, who will recommend effective treatment options to help curb your urge to smoke. These options may include nicotine replacement patches, nicotine gum, support groups, cognitive therapy, or even prescription medications. 

Hot And Cold Beverages

In order to maintain comfort after your root canal procedure, avoid foods or beverages that are too hot or too cold. Temperature extremes can cause dental sensitivity, which can be perceived as discomfort. After a few days, you can then reintroduce hot and cold items into your daily meal plans. If you are unable to avoid foods and beverages that are too cold, at least try refraining from frozen foods such as ice cream and other frozen treats.

If you are unsure of which foods and beverages to avoid, talk to your dentist. He or she will provide you with a list of foods and beverages that may cause tooth sensitivity after your dental procedure. 

If you are facing a root canal, talk to your dentist about how you can enhance the healing process after your procedure. The more information you have regarding post-procedural care, the less likely you will be to experience a negative experience such as an increase in tooth sensitivity, infection, or even discomfort in some cases. Root canal procedures are typically low-risk procedures, and most people sail right through them without any adverse reactions.