Dealing with Root Canal Pain

A root canal is a procedure that is performed when the pulp (or nerve) of the tooth becomes infected. This can happen due to decay, injury, or some other type of damage to the tooth. Although a root canal is often successful in saving the tooth, it can be a very painful experience. Here are some tips for dealing with root canal pain.

Dealing with Root Canal Pain

  1. Over-the-counter medication can help. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs can help to reduce swelling and pain. Be sure to follow the directions on the label carefully.
  2. Apply a cold compress. Applying a cold compress to the outside of your cheek can help to numb the pain. Do not apply directly to the tooth as this could increase sensitivity.
  3. Rinse with salt water. Mixing 1 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water can help to reduce swelling and pain. Rinse your mouth for 30 seconds and then spit out. Repeat as necessary.
  4. See your dentist ASAP. The sooner you see your dentist after experiencing pain, the sooner you can get relief. Your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection and may also recommend a crown or other procedure to protect the tooth from further damage.


Root canal pain can be extremely uncomfortable but there are things that you can do to find relief. Over-the-counter medication, applied cold compresses, salt water rinses, and seeing your dentist as soon as possible are all great options for reducing root canal pain. If you are still experiencing pain after trying these home remedies, be sure to contact your dentist right away for further assistance.

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