What Causes Pain After a Root Canal?

What Causes Pain After a Root Canal?

July 1, 2022

Root canals are effective procedures, and pain after a root canal is expected. Root canals involve deep cleaning within the canals of your tooth, which can irritate the surrounding nerves and gums.

The pain after a root canal shouldn’t last forever. In reality, a root canal helps avoid the pain from a decaying or fractured tooth. You can expect mild to moderate pain for a few days after a root canal. Any discomfort beyond a few days might require additional cleaning of the canals or other procedures from your dentist.

Initial Recovery Period

Root canals were incredibly painful earlier, so many people refrained from having these procedures. Fortunately, dentists now have pain-relieving measures to reduce your discomfort during the process.

Before starting your process, the dentist applies local anesthesia to minimize pain. You will feel pressure during the cleaning but shouldn’t experience pain. However, you might experience mild discomfort and sensitivity as the local anesthesia wears off. The pain is from the cleaning process because, during the cleaning, your dentist makes a tiny opening in the crown to clean the diseased pulp inside its chamber. While uncomfortable, the pain and sensitivity after a root canal should only remain with you for a few days. You can find relief from the pain by taking over-the-counter pain relievers.

Does My Tooth Pain Mean the Root Canal Has Failed?

A root canal causes mild pain for a few days. The discomfort is temporary and is manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers and practicing proper oral hygiene. However, if the discomfort lasts over three days, you must see your dentist for advice.

Reasons for Severe Pain after Root Canal Treatment

Signs of root canal failure include infection, large fillings following the treatment, an incomplete root canal, and damage to the surrounding tissue.

For example, an infection in the treated tooth might indicate that some bacteria remain in the tooth after the procedure. In such cases, your dentist recommends antibiotics for the problem.

If the dentist uses too much filling material to close the access hole in the crown, it starts causing pain every time you bite down.

You might experience severe pain after a root canal if you underwent an incomplete procedure. Your molars have multiple canals making it challenging for the dentist to miss one or more during your process. In such cases, the initial reasons for the pain in your tooth never get fixed and cause you to experience discomfort even after root canal treatment.

Similarly, suppose the dentist misses damaged nerves inside the tooth that require removal. In that case, you may experience pain when the tooth comes in contact with hot or cold temperatures or acidic foods.

Sometimes tissue damage can occur during the root canal if bacteria is accidentally injected into the surrounding tissue or a file used on the inside of the tooth slips past the tip of the root and pokes into the tissue beneath. In such cases, the discomfort disappears when the damaged tissue heals.

How to Prevent Tooth Pain after a Root Canal?

Pain lasting several days after your dentist better addresses a root canal. Besides taking medications temporarily, you can do things to manage pain from a root canal. Caring for your teeth is essential, making it imperative that you avoid crunchy and hard foods until your pain resolves. You also help yourself by quitting smoking.

You can consider stress-relieving activities to manage your discomfort. For example, meditation, yoga, and tai chi can help take your focus off the pain.

Successful root canals cause mild pain for a few days. The pain is temporary and should disappear by itself so long as you practice good oral hygiene. You must see your dentist if the pain doesn’t subside for over 72 hours.

Besides the above, you must avoid having overly complex foods following a root canal treatment. Reducing your intake of sugary foods and drinks also helps. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing them at least once, and caring for the treated tooth is beneficial even after you visit restorative dental care to have the tooth repaired with a dental crown.

Root canal-treated tooth lasts for several years following the treatment but requires appropriate care to ensure you don’t damage the restoration and need further treatment from the dentist.

Holger Dental Group — Minneapolis performs many root canal treatments on patients, relieving them from the pain they experienced before the therapy. The practice also provides advice on caring for root canal-treated teeth following the treatment. Therefore if you need help from this practice, please do not hesitate to contact them.

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