March 10, 2022
After your first root canal, it’s pretty normal to feel some relief. In the end, you realize the procedure wasn’t as lengthy as the stories made them out to be, nor was the pain as bad as what people said. Taken with the fact that the infected pulp is now gone, the time and effort for treatment seems pretty reasonable.
Unfortunately, there are times when the worst pain from a root canal shows up after the appointment, not during it. Rather than a normal aftereffect, experiencing extreme discomfort after a root canal could be a sign of a more serious issue. To find out if it warrants a dentist visit, here’s a guide to how best to respond to root canal pain.
What to Expect After a Root Canal?
It’s normal to experience at least some tenderness after a root canal. Experiencing soreness around the area of treatment is a typical symptom, as is a sore jaw due to the filling process.
This kind of root canal pain is almost never worth much concern. It could be that the relevant gum tissue is swollen, inflamed, or irritated by a dental instrument, but this naturally fades over time. In the event your mouth is biting hard on a slightly elevated filling, which would make the tooth sore, that should also go away within a few days’ time or require minimal intervention.
How Much Pain is Too Much?
The best way to determine if the post-root canal discomfort is serious is by trying to manage it with appropriate methods of self-care. Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen, should be sufficient to relieve post-procedure pain. It should also be reduced by avoiding chewing or biting down on the affected tooth, at least until the final restoration has been completed.
If your pain, however, is so severe that you can’t go about your normal life, then you’re likely experiencing a serious complication. It might also be accompanied by fever, swelling, an uneven bite (when you bite down, the treated tooth feels “high”), or an unwell feeling. Such things could be a sign of infection, tooth cracks, or fractures that can affect how you heal from the root canal.
When Should You See a Dentist About It?
If you are feeling severe pain several days (or more) after your root canal, you should immediately contact your dentist or endodontist. Either one of the two can examine the pained tooth, diagnose the cause, and prescribe a treatment that will get you on the right track to feeling your best.
It’s important to remember that pain at the dentist — even from a root canal — should only ever be mild. When it’s not, make sure to take a closer look and talk with your local dentist!
About the Author
Parkway Vista Dental is a dental practice based in Plano, TX, run by Dr. Bita Kamali and her team. Having graduated with her doctorate from Baylor University’s College of Dentistry, Dr. Kamali benefits her office with 20+ years of experience in oral healthcare. She and the other members of the practice have always believed that continued education is essential to top-quality care. Parkway Vista Dental is located in West Plano and can be reached at their website or by phone at (972)-818-1300.