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Pain After Root Canal Treatment

Pain After Root Canal Treatment
Many people undergo root canal treatment to get rid of pulp infection. While most of them experience mild or no pain after the procedure, a few might have to tolerate a lot of it. Well, pain after more than a few days after root canal procedure can be caused due to various reasons. Let's understand more about the same in the following sections.
Mamta Mule
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2018
How many of you are scared of dental treatments? I guess most of you detest a visit to the dental clinic, due to the possibility of tooth extraction, filling, root canal treatment, etc. Though a root canal saves your infected tooth, many give it a second thought just because of the pain experienced after this treatment! Even though a tooth extraction procedure is more painful than root canal, many prefer to get their tooth extracted instead of undergoing this treatment. As root canal prevents toothache problems, one must not avoid getting it done if dentist has suggested the same for removal of infected pulp. The pain is not really traumatic because there isn't a lot of grinding as compared to that done during a filling or a crown. But what about post root canal pain? Is it common or a symptom of more complications? Here are the details.
Reasons of Post Root Canal Pain
In most cases of pain before root canal, source of toothache is the inside of your tooth. The tissue inside your tooth hurts because it is infected with deep decay or trauma. The ligament attaching tooth and bone could be other source of pain after root canal procedure. Infection in your tooth spreads, infecting the bone around the tooth's root. This is where the pain comes from; the ligament around the tooth. Since the tissue inside the tooth will be removed, the pain after it is unlikely.
When you first experience a toothache, the earlier you seek treatment, the less likely you are to experience pain after root canal. Here's the reason behind this. Once you have a tooth decay, the infection will go on spreading making it more difficult to eradicate it completely. It can be removed completely, if it is inside your tooth. But if it spreads to the bone, you can only get the source of infection removed and the rest has to be taken care by your body.
While the soft tissue inside your tooth is being removed during the root canal, some of this tissue will inevitably be pushed out of the end of your tooth, through the apex and into the bone. The more infected your tooth is, the greater is the irritation. Even the instruments used during this procedure might penetrate the apex and cause irritation. Dentist needs to ensure that the periapical area is also neatly disinfected there is no pus around this area before he/she permanently does the filling procedure. Failure to completely drain the fluid can lead to post root canal pain.
Hyper occlusion is one of the common reason of post root canal discomfort and pain. This can also hurt the root canaled tooth and at times lead to tooth fracture. If you experience discomfort it is essential to visit your dentist and get the same corrected soon to avoid further pain.
You might experience pain after the treatment is over, due to aforementioned reasons. But, this doesn't mean that your dentist has not done his/her job properly, rather it is believed by many experts that some pain after the root canal is a sign of rightly done root canal procedure.
Possible Complications
If a root canal treated tooth has pain aggravated by cold temperatures, then remember, this is entirely different. It comes from inside your tooth and indicates that there is still a living tissue in your tooth. It is possible that there is an extra canal which was not visible to your dentist. Consult your dentist to know the exact problem.
The canal may not be cleaned out completely because sometimes it is difficult to locate canals within the tooth. Also, pieces of infected or inflamed pulp might have been left near the bottom. This is one of the cases of root canal complication wherein the tooth remains infected and the treatment needs to be repeated.
Delayed Root Canal Pain
It may happen that your tooth heals and you feel normal. But, after a few days or months it begins to hurt. Sometimes patients experience pain even after a year of treatment. Well, let me tell you that failed root canal is the most probable cause of pain in these cases. Your doctor will examine your tooth and the same might also have to be extracted if nothing works.
Remedies for Pain after Root Canal
In case of minor pain after a root canal procedure, following remedies are helpful.
  • With high filling being the most common cause of discomfort, your dentist will possible reduce the treated tooth, so that later on it won't be touched when you clench together. This is a very effective technique that shows immediate results.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen are prescribed, because the body's inflammatory reaction might lead to swelling of the tooth, making you hit it harder than other tooth.
  • If the infection inside your tooth has spread to the bone around the apex, you might be given antibiotic medication after the treatment. These antibiotics will help in the healing process.
Precautions for Avoiding Pain After Root Canal Treatment
Don't chew on the treated tooth which is undergoing or has undergone treatment. You should minimize chewing on this tooth and follow your doctor's recommendation about the same. The reasons for this are as follows:
  • Sometimes a temporary filling is placed in tooth when more than one appointment are needed for the treatment. This temporary filling can come out and your saliva and debris might again contaminate the interior of your tooth. As a result your dentist will have to clean your tooth for the second time.
  • Many a time you feel that the tooth which is undergoing treatment is fine and you make use of it. This may lead to cracking or breakage of the tooth even before the treatment is completed to restore it. Hence, before your dentist has finished rebuilding your tooth, you should consider it fragile.
Dentist completely numbs your tooth and the surrounding area before starting the treatment. If this doesn't seem to be working, you should inform your dentist right away so that he/she can modify the technique to avoid further pain.
You need to understand that if your dentist advises root canal treatment for your tooth, he/she is just saving it from extraction. With proper dental care routine and precautions suggested by him during and after the treatment, you won't experience any pain. If you still experience any post root canal pain, feel free to contact your dentist to ensure a good dental health without further complications.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a substitute for an expert medical advice.
Treatment of the tooth the dentist cleans loss
Patient getting her gum pocket depth measured