Pain that lasts after a root canal procedure is rare. Almost everyone has a successful treatment and they are able to keep their tooth forever. Ultimately you should have no pain after a couple of weeks post-procedure. There will be some home care that is necessary that you will want to make sure you do. But if you are experiencing pain after that time, you should contact your dentist right away.
Why is there Pain after Root Canal?
Leading up to your root canal treatment you may be experiencing quite a lot of pain in the affected tooth, but afterwards you should be free of it. If you do experience pain, you should notify your dentist right away so he or she can see you and determine the cause of the pain.
During the treatment, your dentist or endodontist will drill into the tooth, clean and disinfect the area using what look like very small bottle brushes, and then fill it in. You shouldn’t really feel a thing during the process, since modern anesthesia techniques will pretty much block all pain. You may, however, be aware of pressure from the instruments or your dentist’s and assistant’s hands.
Causes of root canal pain
One reason you may be experiencing root canal pain is due to an infection. If you have swelling on your face or if you are running a fever, it is likely that you have an infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics and a root canal treatment. Once the infection is treated, you will feel a lot better and have less pain.
When your tooth is all set to have the permanent filling or crown applied, your dentist will use filling materials in the cavity created with a rubber compound known as Gutta percha.
Getting a root canal treatment is much like having a filling done, albeit a very large filling. After the treatment heals you will no doubt be free of pain in the treated tooth. For many patients, the pain is intense before the treatment, dropped off quite a lot post-surgery, and then significantly lessens after a week until you are pain free.
You may experience some residual pain after a root canal therapy due to the instruments used in the procedure. A rubber gasket-like dam will be used around the infected tooth to keep the surrounding tissue dry and prevent any infection from spreading.
You may also feel some discomfort post root canal from a temporary filling that was not smoothed off completely.
Your mouth might feel kind of tender after the pain relieving procedure is complete, and you may be prescribed some pain relievers. If not, you can take over the counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, but since you want to avoid any excess bleeding, you should steer clear of aspirin.
Reasons for pain after root canal
You can have pain in a tooth after a root canal procedure.
- The infection may not have completely resolved because your tooth root was too deep or complex; for instance you have an extra canal in your tooth or your root canal curves
- Things may not have healed properly
- You may have a new infection
- Your treated tooth may have suffered a trauma leading to a new incidence of decay. Your tooth will naturally be weaker after a root canal treatment, so you should be more careful about what happens to that tooth.
- You don’t take good care of your teeth after the procedure
- The crown may break down over time due to wear and tear
- If nerves that were still alive are left behind, they can still sense hot and cold, which can translate as tooth pain
- You develop cracks in the tooth
- Your dentist made a mistake during the root canal treatment and the crown is allowing food particles to leak in underneath
- The jaw may have some residual infection which can still lead to pain due to inflammation. This may resolve on its own with your immune system handing it, or you may need a course of antibiotics to wipe the infection out.
Ways to care for root canal pain after treatment
Since the root canal treatment removes the diseased pulp from your affected tooth and allows the rest of the tooth to remain, you should have a solid set of teeth again.
- If you are still experiencing pain after having a root canal treatment, you may need to have another one. This is a process called retreatment. It is unusual to have pain after root canal for a long time. Significant pain should be reported to your dentist right away.
- If your tooth had an extra canal, your dentist will need to go in and complete a root canal treatment on that extra part to completely clean things out properly.
- You may have had just a temporary filling done while your dentist waits for the infection to heal. Once everything is thoroughly clean and your dentist is satisfied with the resolution, he or she will put on a permanent crown or filling. Crowns are most often used on molars because they do so much more chewing, so they need something sturdy.
- If the filling is rough and causing you discomfort while chewing, your dentist may need to adjust the filling.
- If you are constantly experiencing infections and swelling post root canal, your dentist may need to perform a root end resection, which is much like a root canal except it is done at the tip of the root instead before a filling is applied to seal off that end of the tooth.
- After you get home, you should do a few things to protect your root canal treatment investment. In the few days following the procedure, you should avoid chewing on that tooth, particularly if you only have a temporary cap on. The last thing you want to do is put pressure on a less than full tooth that could make it break, or get food particles in under the temporary filling and reinfect the area.
- You should continue brushing and flossing daily, and brush in the morning as well to protect your oral health. For a while, you will want to use a soft bristled manual toothbrush so as to avoid irritating the area with a more powerful electric brush. You will also want to make sure you see your dentist regularly for checkups on the crown as well as getting proper cleanings.
- Avoid chewing hard foods like hard candy or ice cubes right after the procedure is complete. You should also cut down on acidic and sugary foods and drinks to help keep all of your teeth happy and healthy.
Rest assured that failures of root canals are very rare. 95% of all root canals are successful and most teeth that have had a root canal treatment will last the rest of your life. With a root canal treatment, you should be relieved of the tooth pain and after a week or two you should be completely pain free. If you do experience pain after root canal after a couple of weeks that go beyond the ache of healing, call your dentist and have him or her take a look to see what is going on.
IVANOV Orthodontic Experts, 12866 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL 33181
Call us at (786) 540-1919 to schedule a free orthodontic exam.
Learn more about The 7 Symptoms One May Need a Root Canal at https://ivanovortho.com/most-common-root-canal-symptoms/