Pain after Root Canal Therapy
Pain Immediately after Treatment
Following root canal therapy, it is normal to experience some discomfort as well as inflammation around the treated tooth. You can take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce any swelling or discomfort. You should also refrain from chewing hard or crunchy food while you are recovering so as not to aggravate the area.
Lingering Pain Following a Root Canal
If you experience significant pain for more than three to five days after a root canal, you should contact your dentist. Lingering pain may indicate an infection or an issue with your restoration.
Sharp pain or pain that lingers for more than a few days may be a sign of complications.
One of the primary causes of pain after a root canal procedure is an ongoing infection. If bacteria has spread to the bone, it could continue to cause discomfort. Similarly, if the doctor did not remove all compromised tissue, the infection can persist. It is also possible for a tooth to become re-infected if the tooth was not sealed or restored properly.
Molars have multiple canals, and although the dentist may take x-rays prior to a root canal procedure, tiny canals can be missed if they are difficult to detect. If any bit of nerve remains, patients can continue to experience pain.
Overfilling the Canals
After cleaning and reshaping the root canals, the dentist will fill the space with a rubber-like material called gutta percha. If the dentist overfills the area, excess material can cause sharp, localized pain.
Improperly Sized Restorations
A tooth that has undergone root canal treatment must be sealed with either a filling or a crown. Restorations that do not fit properly can impact occlusion and make it difficult to eat and speak with ease.
If you experience a new or ongoing infection, your dentist can either perform a second root canal treatment or an apicoectomy, which involves surgically removing the root tip. Should your dental restoration fit improperly, your dentist can adjust the size of the crown or filling to restore your comfort.