Root canal treatment is one of the most commonly used dental procedures and causes no more pain than a regular filling. But patients often wonder if root canal treatment can cause increased pain days after the procedure. In this article, we’ll look at root canal treatment, how it can cause tooth pain days later, and what to do when experiencing discomfort.
Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure to treat infection or decay in the innermost part of the tooth root. Specialized tools remove damaged tissue and bacteria from the root during root therapy. Afterward, the root canal is filled with a material called gutta-percha, and a root canal seal is placed over the root entrance. While root canal treatment can be uncomfortable initially, it typically results in little to no pain post-procedure. However, some patients may experience increased pain days after root canal treatment.
How Can Root Canal Treatment Cause Tooth Pain Days Later?
Root canal treatment can cause tooth pain days later because of inflammation or infection not detected during the root canal therapy procedure. In some cases, bacteria and debris are left behind after root canal therapy, leading to infection and increased discomfort days later. Another issue may occur when root canal sealers or gutta-percha aren’t applied correctly, resulting in inflammation that increases pressure within the root canals, causing pain.
Symptoms of Post-Root Canal Pain
Patients who experience post-root canal pain typically have a throbbing or shooting sensation that can vary in intensity. The pain may worsen when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and drinks, chewing, or putting pressure on the tooth. Some patients may also notice swelling around the root canal area.
Reasons for Post-Root Canal Pain
There are several reasons why root canal treatment can cause increased tooth pain days later. Root canal therapy can sometimes cause root resorption or fracture, which may lead to increased pain days later. In some cases, infection is not completely removed during root canal therapy due to difficulty reaching certain areas of the root canal with dental instruments. Poor root canal sealer application can also create gaps that allow bacteria to pass through, leading to infection and inflammation.
When to See a Dentist
If you experience increased tooth pain days after root canal treatment, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. Your dentist can assess the situation and determine the best course of action. In some cases, additional root canal treatments are necessary when the initial procedure does not completely remove the infected tissue or reseal the root canals properly.
The root canal may require additional treatments or root resection and root fracture repair to reduce discomfort and prevent further damage to the affected tooth. Root canal treatment is generally a safe, effective dental procedure that results in little pain post-procedure. However, if you experience increased tooth pain days after root canal treatment, it’s important to seek professional help immediately.
Q1: How long does the pain last after a root canal?
A1: Pain is typically minimal immediately following root canal therapy but may increase days later due to infection or improper root canal sealer application. It’s important to contact your dentist if you experience increased pain post-root canal treatment, as this could indicate that the procedure was unsuccessful.
Q2: Can I drink alcohol after root canal treatment?
A2: Yes, you can drink alcohol after root canal treatment, although it is best to wait until the root canal site has healed before consuming any alcoholic beverages.
Q3: How often should I have a root canal checkup?
A3: It is recommended that root canals be checked up at least once per year to ensure no problems or issues need addressing. Depending on your situation, your dentist may also suggest frequent root canal checkups.