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Causes of Root Canal Pain

by | Dec 14, 2021

When severe pain brings you to the dentist’s office, and you discover that you need root canal therapy, if you’re like most patients, you will probably feel some mix of fear and relief. Relief that there is a solution for the pain and fear of a return visit to the dentist.

Learning about a root canal treatment and how it protects your teeth, gums, and surrounding nerves (especially when followed up with good oral hygiene practices) can do wonders to ease fear and anxiety. But there’s still the issue of pain. Wouldn’t it be great to know what causes root canal pain in the first place?

This article will highlight the common causes of root canal pain and explain root canal treatments and how they affect a damaged tooth and its root.

The Most Common Causes of Root Canal Pain

When you have a root canal, it’s common to experience some pain and sensitivity. How much pain will be unique to each patient. It might be a few days until you are totally pain-free, which is normal. We provide local anesthesia during the procedure and give you enough medication to help ease any lingering painful symptoms after the local anesthetic wears off. If you have pain that lasts longer than a few days, this is considered unusual. Here are some of the unique causes of root canal pain.

Infection in the Bone

You might have pain after a root canal even if the procedure was perfectly performed. Bacteria can still be present after your root canal procedure, which can cause discomfort. Since the cause of the infection was removed during your root canal therapy, you can simply let your immune system fight it off naturally or take antibiotics. If you choose to take antibiotics, we can provide them for you. The antibiotics should help clear the infection and ease the pain.

Infected Root Canal

Bacteria from your saliva can seep into the edges of your filling if it leaks. This can cause an infection to occur, resulting in mild pain after your root canal procedure is done. If you experience symptoms of an infection, such as moderate pain, severe pain, painful swelling, redness, or fever, then you should see the dentist for treatment. Infected root canals can be treated to ease symptoms and prevent infections from getting worse.

Oversized Filling or Crown

The filling or crown on your tooth after a root canal should be the correct size. A filling or crown that is too big can push against the opposite tooth with too much force, which can cause pain long after your root canal. If you keep having pain after this procedure, you should seek treatment from your dentist to have your filling or crown fixed so that it’s the right size for your tooth. This should prevent more pain from occurring.

Missed Canal

Your teeth contain several canals, and some can be hard to find, especially in your molars. The dentist might accidentally overlook an infected canal during a root canal or leave a small part of the nerve inside the affected tooth. In some cases, a tiny pocket in a canal will continue allowing bacteria to accumulate and cause an infection. We can examine the affected tooth to determine what is causing the pain to continue and provide you with treatment.

Air or Cement Coming Through Root Tip

Dental cement can come through the tip of your tooth root if it’s overfilled. You’re more likely to experience pain when this happens if your tooth is not infected. In rare cases, small air bubbles can come through your root tip and cause pain to occur. Pain from dental cement or air typically goes away on its own.

Sodium Hypochlorite Leak Through Root Tip

Sodium hypochlorite is a solution used to destroy bacteria, which helps lower the risk of infection. This solution also eliminates any nerve tissue that remains after your root canal. While rare, sodium hypochlorite can leak from the tip of your tooth root and cause pain and discomfort. This type of pain might last for a few weeks, but you should be able to take medication to ease this discomfort.

About The Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is an often straightforward procedure to relieve pain and save your tooth. Most patients need a root canal when there is inflammation or infection in the roots of a tooth. During root canal treatment, a dentist carefully removes the pulp inside the tooth, cleans, disinfects, shapes the root canals, and places a filling to seal the space. It is generally a highly successful procedure.

Root Canals at Triangle Dentistry

If your tooth needs work, we are here to help. Please contact Triangle Dentistry to make an appointment today. We have in-office new patient plans available. You can also visit us online to read our patient reviews.

Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 847-6000