Why does your tooth hurt after a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment is a procedure where the dentist removes the infected pulp, cleans the nerve canals of the root, and then seals the space. The treatment is necessary in cases where the tooth pulp has become infected. Common reasons for infection and inflammation include dental cavities, cracks or chips, or trauma. If the infection is left untreated, it may lead to pain or an abscess.

Though the root canal procedure has a reputation of being extremely painful, with the modern techniques and anaesthetics that are available today, most procedures can be carried out painlessly. You may experience a little soreness after the root canal, but it should go away within a few hours. Normal post procedure pain can be countered by using pain relief medication. If the pain persists for more than a few days or the site presents with the swelling, call your dentist immediately.

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Reasons for pain after root canal

There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing pain after a root canal procedure.

Nerve endings in ligaments attached to the tooth

A root canal is supposed to completely remove all living pulp tissue from inside the tooth. Though this is done, some nerve endings may remain in the ligaments that are responsible for attaching the tooth to the bone. The ligaments have nerve fibres which may feel pain. These nerve fibres are the most common source of pain after a root canal procedure.

Inflammation of periapical tissue

Another reason for pain after root canal is the inflammation of the periapical tissue after the procedure. Periapical means surrounding the tip of the root of a tooth. The inflammation may be because of the extrusion of sealing material or due to aggressive instrumentation during the root canal procedure. Rarely, the root canal files can go beyond the apical boundary and may deposit some debris near the tooth root, or cause damage to the ligaments. Inflammation that happens during the procedure usually resolves on its own after some time.

High bite

A root canal procedure changes the shape of the tooth and may cause bite problems in some patients. A high bite can cause discomfort post the root canal procedure, but it can be easily corrected. When the patient bites down and did the root canal the tooth hurts, the bite must be readjusted.

Persistent infection

After the root canal is completed, it is necessary for you to visit the dentist for a checkup. This is to ensure that no infections have developed and the tooth and gums are healing nicely. If the patient develops an infection around the periapical region and if it is left neglected, the persistent infection may cause severe pain. A procedure called apocoectomy may be necessary for severe and persistent infection after root canal. The procedure involves surgical removal of the tip of the root.

Tooth fracture

A root canal tooth is not as strong as untreated teeth and can easily break. One of the most common complications after root canal is breakage or fracture of the tooth. This happens because of two reasons. The first is that during the procedure, the tooth is hollowed out, making it structurally weak. Secondly, the procedure removes all the living material inside the root which makes it brittle. This is the reason why it is advisable to place a crown after the root canal is completed. The crown helps protect the tooth and also rebuild it. Sometimes, the tooth may also fracture because of carelessness of the dentist. Get a root canal procedure done only by an experienced dentist to avoid such situations.

If you are having a toothache, contact us on 02 8021 5285 to book in your dental appointment. We do have same day appointments available.

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