I Have Pain After Root Canal — What Could Be the Reason?

Jun 15, 2023

So you finally went through with your root canal procedure, and now you were expecting all to return to normal — only to have a familiar sensation again: pain! It can be pretty frustrating to have discomfort again when you were expecting to feel comfortable at last. However, instead of drowning in angst, read this blog to learn the possible causes of pain after a root canal.

How Long Does Root Canal Pain Last?

While the endodontist is performing the root canal procedure, you will be under anesthesia. This means you will experience no pain or discomfort as the dental specialist works on the damaged tooth. When the anesthesia wears off, however, you may feel slight discomfort and residual pain. You can manage the pain after a root canal with the help of over-the-counter OTC medications. To address the query, pain or discomfort after a root canal generally lasts three days and no more than that. If your pain extends three days, you should consult your dentist or endodontist right away.

What Causes Pain After Root Canal?

There are five possible causes of pain after a root canal. Factors such as infections, oversized crowns or fillings, missed canals, and damaged tissues can lead to pain following the endodontic treatment. Here is a detailed view of the causes of discomfort:

  1. Bone Infection
    During a root canal treatment, the endodontist works to thoroughly clean the infection from the affected tooth. After the procedure, they will cover the tooth with a filling or a crown. In some cases, the bacteria manage to reach the bone that surrounds the tooth root. This leads to pain and inflammation, even after the root canal. Usually, the immune system clears the bacteria in a few days, but you should visit the dentist nonetheless.
  2. Root Canal Infection
    The infected tooth is saved with the help of a root canal; that is true. But did you know it is possible for you to develop reinfection even after the procedure? Sometimes, the filling leaks, giving bacteria a chance to invade the root canal. Bacteria present in your saliva linger around the edges of the filling to search for an opening — and once it manages to enter the tooth, reinfection takes place only a few days later. Therefore, many dentists cover the tooth with a dental crown to prevent reinfection or further damage.
  3. The Filling or Crown is Oversized
    Many times, the dental filling or crown sits too high, which causes tooth pain when biting down. The dentist uses gutta-percha, a rubber-like material, to fill the empty space after removing the infected pulp. In some instances, they may use too much filling, causing it to sit high, and you feel pain after the root canal as a result.
  4. Missed Canal During Treatment
    When the root canal is being performed on a molar, the endodontist may miss an infected canal. This is because our teeth contain several canals, and some of them are difficult to detect. Since the infected canal is missed during the root canal, the small pocket of bacteria or a bit of nerve is left behind and sealed within the tooth. Consequently, it can cause an infection and increased tooth sensitivity, which leads to pain after a root canal.
  5. Damage to the Surrounding Tissue
    The tissue surrounding the tooth could be damaged, especially if the bacteria accidentally enters the nearby tissue. Other than this, an excessive amount of filling that flows past the tip of the root can also harm the tissue. That’s not all — the file used to clean the tooth from the inside could slip, poking the tissue below the root tip. Any of these instances can result in pain after a root canal, which goes away once the tissue heals.

Final Word

Infection in the bone or root canal, missed canal, damaged tissue, or oversized dental restorations can lead to pain after a root canal. You should talk to an expert regarding your discomfort for proper treatment. At Spring Cypress Dental, we work to provide you with good dental well-being. Dial (281) 256-3222 to talk to us or visit our team at 17330 Spring Cypress Rd. STE+ 115, Cypress, TX 77429.


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