7 Common Reasons for Tooth Pain after Root Canal

& 7 Symptoms that require Urgent Care

Tooth Pain after Root Canal

Worry about tooth pain after root canal is natural since the procedure is performed to decrease pain.  Mild to moderate pain is certainly expected for a few days after a root canal.  Still, severe pain may indicate an oral situation requiring a dental exam.

According to research severe tooth pain occurs within 7 days of root canal therapy in 1.6% to 6.6% of all root canal procedures.  This means approximately 800,000 patients experience this  pain each year.

If you have a medical emergency call 911.
For an urgent dental situation or to determine who you should see for dental care find an endodontist near you, an oral surgeon, a walk in dentist, 24 hour dentist, pediatric dentist, sedation dentist, or even a dentist on Sunday.

How much pain after a root canal is too much?

Since you can expect some tooth pain after a root canal, how do you know if you have too much?
Are you feeling too much pain to restart your normal life?  If so, then definitely make an appointment to see a dental professional immediately.

Tooth pain after root canal

7 Common Reasons for Tooth Pain after Root Canal:

 1.  Anesthetic wears off

During your root canal you received anesthetic to numb the treated area of your mouth.  When the anesthetic wears off it is normal to feel mild to moderate pain.  This pain is caused by the work done on your teeth.

2.  Normal pain after Root Canal

Your pain should be limited to feeling a little sensitive or tender around the treated tooth, and normally even less in a front tooth.  The discomfort you feel should be relieved by an over the counter pain reliever as recommended by your dental professional.  You will need further dental evaluation for pain that feels severe or in other way worse than expected.

3.  Post-procedure Inflammation

Even with the removal of the nerves from the tooth, the surrounding ligaments and tissues still have nerves.  It is normal for these tissues to be inflamed and the remaining nerves will feel this discomfort.

4.  High temporary filling

Your pain could be the result of the temporary filling sitting a little bit too high.
Is the tooth slightly higher than the surrounding teeth?  If so, you will bite down harder on it causing the tooth to be sore.

Your dental professional can smooth down the filling and bring relief to this dental situation.

5.  Additional Root Canals left uncleaned

Some treated teeth have multiple root canals that are causing problems.  Bacteria may remain if not all of the canals are cleaned out during the procedure.  Unfortunately this can result in a need for a second root canal.

The repeated procedure will be a bit more involved since the filling and crown will need to be removed.  Your dental professional can perform an exam and determine the best course of treatment.

6.  Undetected crack in the root of a tooth

Cracks in the root of a tooth can cause pain after a root canal.  Bacteria may enter the tooth through these cracks leading to infection within the tooth’s pulp.  This situation will require additional dental work, and possibly extraction.

7.  Damage to the surrounding tissue

During the procedure damage is possible to the surrounding tissue.  This damage can cause pain after a root canal and may cause infection.

This damage and even minor infection may resolve on its own.  However, severe pain should not be ignored – always see a dental professional for severe pain.

7 Common Reasons you have Tooth Pain after Root Canal

7 Symptoms you need urgent care for tooth pain after a root canal

  1. Severe pain or pressure lasting more than a few days
  2. Visible swelling inside or outside your mouth
  3. Rash, itching, or hives indicating an allergic reaction to medication
  4. The treated tooth feels higher
  5. The temporary crown or filling comes out
  6. Symptoms felt prior to the treatment return
  7. Fever

If you experience any of these symptoms contact a dental professional immediately.

Severe tooth pain after a root canal is not expected and may be a sign you need further dental treatment.

7 Symptoms you need urgent care for tooth pain after a root canal