If you are suffering from pain after root canal procedure then you know how unbearable it can be. It’s all a little disappointing really – you’ve sat through the toothache, the unpleasant root canal procedure and paid out the money to get things fixed. So why are you still in pain?
There are a number of reasons there is pain after root canal procedure. Some of these causes are easily treatable, some of them are quite preventable whilst others cannot be fixed.
Possible Causes of Pain After Root Canal Procedure
- Infection – This infection can take place within the bone surrounding the tooth root. It does not matter how well the dentist performed during the root canal procedure – this pain can still occur afterwards. It’s all down to a portion of bacteria remaining in this bone after the root canal. It will be very painful for a short time but thankfully it does sort itself out after a time. The infection hides inside the dead nerve within you tooth so when that tooth is removed the infection is out in the open. It’s only a matter of time before your immune system seeks it out and deals with it. If the pain is very severe and you feel you cannot wait through the immune system process then simple antibiotics will speed the process up.
- Root Canal Infection – This is probably something you do not want to hear but pain after root canal procedure can come down to the fact that the infection has quickly returned to the root canal.
- Canal Overfill – In some cases the pain after root canal procedure can be put down to a poor performance with the root filling material. In some cases this material can overflow due to the tip of the root pushing up against it and forcing it out. If there is no ‘room’ for the material then the pain can be quite severe. Unfortunately there is no quick fix for this type of pain and it can take up to a few weeks to sort itself out. In some extreme cases the excess material may need to be surgically removed.
- Dilute Bleach Solution – When having a root canal the dentist uses a dilute bleach solution to wash the tooth root. This stuff can be a severe cause of pain after root canal procedure if it escapes out of the tooth root. You will know it has happened near enough straight away as the pain cuts through the numbing agent. If this does occur the dentist will wash out the tooth using distilled water and give you some antibiotics and/or painkillers. Unfortunately the pain will last for at least a fortnight.
- Cracked Root – This type of pain after root canal procedure is not good news at all I’m afraid. If you end up with a cracked tooth there is little a dentist can do about it. The pain will surface when you use it to bite and the surrounding gum will be very tender and painful. The dentist will try out a course of antibiotics on you but if they fail to help the tooth settle the only option will be to remove the tooth.
- Air – Simple air can build up pain after root canal procedure and it can lead to several very painful days. Dentists these days use systems that allow them to treat more complex cases of root canal. Unfortunately these newer systems can leave a small bubble of air inside the root filling and the only way out for it is through the root tip. This can cause a lot of pressure pain and not much can be done about it – it will last a matter of days.
- Canal Anatomy That Has Been Overlooked – The space the dentist has to work with within the tooth is very, very small. A lot of the canals inside particular teeth can be near enough impossible to detect. Often small pieces of nerve are left within these undetected canals and this is where bacteria and infection can form. This can be the cause a lot of pain after root canal procedure – especially when you consume very hot or cold foodstuffs. Unfortunately this will not settle down by itself – the root canal procedure will have to be carried out again.
These are the main culprits when it comes to pain after root canal procedure. As we’ve noted with each one the pain tends to subside within a few days but there are cases where more medical treatment is necessary. If your pain after root canal procedure lasts more than a week then I suggest making a hasty return to your dentist to find out what the causes are.