Root canal is also referred to as an endodontic treatment. It is a dental procedure that is used to treat damaged or decayed tooth. With the use of modern technology and anesthetics, the procedure is safe and pain-free. The treatment is an excellent way to treat diseased tissue (pulp) while preserving the rest of the tooth.
During the procedure, a patient will be given anesthetic in order to ensure that the whole process is painless. However, after the procedure have been completed, you are likely to experience some pain and discomforts. Well, there are a number of possible causes of pain after the completion of a root canal.
Pain After Root Canal
Naturally a tooth is not supposed to feel pain, after the sensitive living parts within its pulp has been removed. The root canal treatment involves the total removal of damaged or dead nerves and tissues inside the tooth. After the procedure, some of the nerve endings will still remain in the ligaments that attach the tooth to the surrounding bone. Pain after the procedure is common if the nerves in the ligaments and tissue surrounding the tooth are inflamed or injured.
It’s possible that you can experience sensitivity and discomforts around the treated tooth, but it should only last for a maximum of five days to seven days. However, if the pain persists longer than 3 days, few months or years after the procedure, then there might be a problem somewhere. Severe pain that lasts for a long time after a root canal treatment is abnormal. As we move on through this article, I will reveal to you some of possible causes of pain after a root canal.
Why You Feel Pain After A Root Canal
1. Infected Tooth Root
Infection and inflammation of the tissues at the end of the tooth root after root canal can result to persistent pain. It’s indeed possible for a tooth to become infected even after having a root canal. Bacteria from your saliva or around the tooth might work their way into the tooth root through the edges of the filling. Sometimes during the procedure, the files used to clean out the tooth roots can go slightly past the end of the tooth and can either inject some bacteria at the tip of the root or temporarily damage the ligaments.
The presence of bacteria inside the tooth roots can result to an infection and Inflammation within just a few days. The inflammation and infection can irritate the roots and the surrounding tissues, causing severe pain and discomforts.
2. Instrument Damage
During the procedure, it is possible that a dental instrument used to clean out the root canal can inadvertently damaged the sensitive surrounding tissue. (1) Apart from this, the tooth can also start to hurt if you bite down heavily on hard foods using the tooth. Although, cases like this can be easily corrected at the dentists office. The bite should be adjusted, while the damage can be repaired.
3. Continued Infection
You can still feel pain on the tooth, if an infection is still present around the end of the tooth roots after the root canal have been completed. In most cases, the treated tooth can get infected through a fracture on the surface of the tooth. If the tooth was not crowned or filled properly, bacteria can still work their way into the tooth and eventually into the bone around the root. In rare cases, the dentist may miss an infected canal, leaving a bit of nerve inside the tooth or a small pocket where bacteria can form an infection. In such cases like these, the tooth could remain inflamed and painful. If it turns out that the infection continued, your dentist may need to repeat the treatment or extract the tooth entirely.
4. Wrong Filling or Crown
You can experience persistent pain and discomfort after the root canal, if your fillings or crown was not done properly. If the filling or crown is higher than the surrounding teeth, it can cause the mouth to bite harder on that spot. The opposite tooth will continue to exert much force on the tooth and this would make the treated tooth sore and cause pain. Luckily, this problem is quite very easy to fix. The dentist will simply need to adjust or smoothen the filling or crown in order to remove the high spot on the tooth. (2)
5. A Solution Leak
During root canal treatments, dentists do apply some chemicals that enables faster washing away of the infected or damaged nerves and tissues within the tooth. Most of this solution are specially designed to kill bacteria, dissolve and wash away any remaining nerve tissue during the process. But before the application of such chemicals, dentists normally cover the tooth root tips in order to avoid leakages. Some of these solutions can cause immediate pain and damages to the healthy surrounding tissues.
In rare cases, some of the solution can leak out of the root tip, causing immediate pain to the tissues surrounding the tooth. If such a problem occurs, the dentist will flush and dress the area immediately in order to lessen the damages. You may need to take some antibiotics and painkillers for a few weeks until the pain subsides.
Persistent severe pain after a root canal procedure is not normal at all. It’s safe to say that many people feel a little sensitive or tender for a few days after having a root canal. Normally, it’s expected that the sensitivity and discomfort associated with a root canal should go away within a few days, it should not exceed one week. Well, most people do experiencing severe pain and discomforts which lasts longer than expected. If you’re experiencing more pain than expected after a root canal, don’t wait for the condition to worsen.
Fortunately, there are effective remedies for pain after root canal. Depending on the underlying cause of your pain, the dentist will be in a better position to identify the suitable treatment or solution to your problem. You may need to take some antibiotics if the pain is as a result of infection, you might even end up repeating the root canal procedure itself. Well, if the pain is severe or unrelieved by the available measures, you may have to extract the tooth. You can check here to learn more on – Tooth extraction vs Root Canal.