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Pain After a Root Canal - Reasons Why and What to Do

Posted on 4/15/2024 by Weo Admin
A model of teeth cleaning with titanium metal tooth pick instrumentAfter undergoing a root canal, experiencing some discomfort or sensitivity is not uncommon. While the root canal aims to alleviate pain, certain factors can contribute to post-procedural discomfort. Here's why your tooth may hurt after a root canal:

1. Incomplete Extraction of Infected Tissue:

During a root canal, the infected pulp (nerve and blood vessels) is removed from the tooth. If remnants of infected tissue are left behind, they can continue to cause inflammation and pain.

2. Residual Inflammation:

The root canal procedure can induce inflammation in the surrounding tissues. This inflammation may take some time to subside, leading to lingering discomfort.

3. Over-Extension of the Root Canal Filling:

If the root canal filling material is pushed beyond the root tips, it can irritate the surrounding bone and nerves, causing pain.

4. Crown or Filling Issues:

After a root canal, a crown or filling is placed to restore the tooth's strength and appearance. If the restoration is not properly fitted or sealed, it can allow bacteria to enter the tooth, leading to pain and sensitivity.

5. Traumatic Bite:

Biting down on the treated tooth with excessive force can cause discomfort or even damage the restoration.

What to Do if Your Tooth Hurts After a Root Canal:

•  Contact Your Dentist: If you experience pain after a root canal, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. They will examine the tooth and determine the cause of the discomfort.
•  Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help alleviate discomfort.
•  Warm Salt Water Rinse: Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can reduce inflammation and promote healing.
•  Avoid Chewing on the Treated Tooth: Applying excessive force on the treated tooth can worsen the pain.
•  Follow Good Oral Hygiene: Continue to brush and floss regularly to prevent further infection.


While root canals are often successful in eliminating tooth pain, post-procedural discomfort can occur due to various reasons. By understanding these causes and following proper post-care instructions, you can help manage any lingering discomfort and ensure the long-term success of your root canal treatment. Remember, seeking professional help if you experience pain is crucial for effective management and restoration dentistry.

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Salem, OR 97302

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