Do you know what the best thing is about the pain you are feeling after having a root canal? The best thing is the root canal is done and the healing process has already begun! Unfortunately, healing from a root canal takes time. Your mouth has undergone trauma and only time will make it feel pain-free again. In the meantime, it is completely normal to feel some pain and swelling. Your jaw may be sore from being propped open while you were in the chair, or you may have sensitivity around the base of the tooth where the roots were previously infected.
Controlling Pain Immediately After Your Root Canal
As the anesthetic starts to wear off you should be able to control any pain you have by taking over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
You should avoid chewing on the tooth and allow it the necessary rest to heal. If your tooth is still painful in the weeks following your procedure, then there are a few things that could have gone wrong. The tooth may have had a hidden crack or undiscovered root. Also, if one of the roots was not completely cleaned out, then there could be a lingering infection.
The Common Causes of Pain After a Root Canal
The main goals of a root canal are to remove infection and eliminate your pain. So, when you have lingering pain weeks after the procedure that is typically a sign there is a problem.
The most common problems extending pain after root canal treatment are:
- bacteria near the bone
- root canal infection
- soft tissue infection
- trapped air around the root sealant
- excess dental cement in the root pressing on a nerve
- still-infected missed canal
In addition, if the crown placed on top of the root canal is too tall, then it can cause pain from the tooth above pressing on it when you bite down.
What to Do if You Have Lingering Pain After a Root Canal
Finally, it is important to mention most teeth post-procedure should be pain-free within a couple of weeks. If your tooth still hurts past this time, then it is time to call your dentist for advice.
When post-root canal pain lasts for weeks it is often a sign the root canal failed and needs to be redone. The pain will not go away and it is possible to save the tooth if you have a second root canal done before too much damage is done.
Contact your dentist for more information.