Root Canal Therapy Recovery By Dr. John Goodman on March 20, 2019

Digital image of molar tooth cross sectionIf you are about to undergo root canal treatment, you may be wondering what to anticipate after the procedure. Dr. John Goodman and our Kansas City, MO team strive to ensure that our patients are well-informed about the entire treatment process.

Here, we discuss what to expect during root canal therapy recovery and offer a few tips to make the healing period as comfortable as possible.

How Much Pain Should I Anticipate?

Contrary to popular belief, root canal treatment should not cause much discomfort. In fact, the very nature of the procedure eliminates infection at its source. As a result, most of our patients feel much better after treatment, especially if the infection was causing discomfort beforehand.

Temporary Side Effects following Root Canal Therapy

Like any dental procedure, there are a few side effects that commonly occur after root canal treatment. Fortunately, these are short-lived and diminish in just a few days.

In the sections below, we will explore a few of these side effects and offer general guidelines on how to manage them.


The nerves inside the tooth are removed during root canal treatment. Therefore, the tooth itself should not be the source of discomfort after the procedure. However, the surrounding gum tissue can become irritated, and lead to tenderness and soreness.

To manage these side effects, patients can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Dr. Goodman may also prescribe pain medication if necessary. Additionally, a cold compress can be applied to the outside jaw to reduce discomfort.


Root canal therapy should not cause a lot of bleeding. However, light oozing can occur immediately after your procedure.

If necessary, a gauze pack can be placed over the affected area. Simply fold the gauze into a square knot, place it over the area, and close down with gentle, steady pressure for about 15 minutes. If bleeding still persists, call our office for further instructions.


Following your root canal therapy, the gum tissue around the treated tooth may become slightly inflamed or swollen. Anti-inflammatory medication, such as naproxen or ibuprofen, can help reduce this side effect.

In addition, application of an ice pack or cold compress can also help mitigate inflammation. Simply place the compress on the external jaw for 20 minutes, and repeat the process three to four times a day until swelling subsides.

Strange or Different Sensation

Because the internal nerves are removed during root canal therapy, patients notice a slightly different sensation in the treated tooth following the procedure. This side effect can last for some time, but should eventually subside.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

While the side effects explored above are typical, there are a few associated risks following root canal therapy. If you notice any of the symptoms listed below, inform a member of our team right away:

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain or pressure, which lasts more than a few days
  • An uneven bite
  • A broken or lost filling or crown
  • Visible swelling around the gums or along the jaw

Contact Our Practice Today

To learn more about root canal therapy recovery, contact our office today. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at (816) 842-8585.

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John P. Goodman, DDS

John P. Goodman, DDS We Give Kansas City a Reason to Smile!

Dr. John Goodman has more than two decades of experience serving the community of Kansas City, MO. He offers a comprehensive range of services to address all types of dental problems, and he accepts CareCredit® financing to make treatment as accessible as possible. 

To request a consultation, please fill out our online form or call us at (816) 842-8585.

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"My experience with Dr. John Goodman DDS was outstanding. The entire staff was courteous and very accommodating. Dr. Goodman made me feel very comfortable but also finally gave me hope for having that "beautiful smile" that we (with not so good teeth) always wish for. I left feeling elated and excited for the first time about a dental appointment."

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