Pain After Root Canal
Sometimes, in only about 1% of the cases, there will some pain after root canal
or a ‘flare-up’ of the tooth causing pain and sometimes swelling. This usually happens within the first three days
following treatment and is caused by dying bacteria inside the tooth that put off toxins as they expire. If this
happens, you may need to be on an antibiotic. Call your dentist and let them advise you what to
These days, most dentists and Endodontists prescribe medications to get
infection under control before a root canal is performed, although it is not necessary or advisable to wait until
all the infection is gone before seeking treatment. While you cannot have root canal treatment if you’re severely
swollen, an abscessd tooth needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Some dentists will begin treatment by draining the abscess first then scheduling
the root canal treatment after the infection has subsided.
Most of the time, however, there is little or no pain after root canal, if done
when first indicated. If there was a lot of infection in the tooth before the root canal, there will be healing
time required after the procedure and you may experience some pain. This pain can be moderate to severe and last
several days, getting a little better each day.
If your tooth hurts when you chew on it, it is still healing and you need to
chew on the other side of your mouth until the pain is gone. Some teeth swell in the socket and feel ‘higher’ than
the other teeth, disrupting the healing process. If this happens, call your dentist or Endodontist and get an
appointment. They can adjust your bite to prevent this tooth from hitting so hard when you bite.
Some people are surprised when they experience any pain after root canal
thinking the nerves are gone. The nerve inside your tooth is gone, but there are still nerves surrounding the
outside of your tooth where in enters the gum.
These nerves can be irritated by the procedure or the abscess that caused all
your problems to begin with, and can take time to heal.
Teeth that have a fracture can still have sensitivity after a root canal, and
should be crowned as soon as your dentist can give you an appointment.
Avoid chewing on the tooth until your dentist has crowned it. Even after
crowning, some teeth that have fracture will be sensitive on occasion, much like a healed broken bone is sometimes
sensitive. This is normal and nothing to worry about unless the pain or sensitivity gets severe.
A root canal removes the nerve inside your tooth. If you experience sensitivity
to hot or cold liquids after your root canal, you may have another tooth involved, as the nerve inside the tooth
controls temperature sensations.
Extreme pain (which cannot be controlled by a pain killing medication) after
root canal is rare and should be reported to your dentist.