Having some degree of root canal pain is to be expected, because it is considered to be a major dental procedure, but of course, there are some limits to how long, and how much pain you can reasonably expect after the procedure- after all, root canal treatments are often recommended for patients as a means to manage pain. During root canal treatment the canals of your tooth are cleaned out, and this process can cause some discomfort and irritation.
Remember that a root canal treatment is performed to save a dead or dying tooth. Very often the tooth has decay and deep decay can go through to the nerves. Sometimes the dentist’s instruments and cleaning action can irritate the area further, resulting in greater discomfort.
Understanding Pain During The Root Canal Procedure
In years gone by, root canal therapy was a notoriously painful procedure but thanks to advances in dental techniques, the procedures have improved tremendously to make them more bearable for patients. The use of anaesthetic makes a big difference to the pain factor, and while it is common to experience pressure or sensation during the root canal therapy, you should not feel pain while your dentist is performing the procedure.
Root Canal Pain After The Procedure
Once the anaesthetic starts to wear off you will probably experience some pain and discomfort. Because your dentist needs to access the tooth canal, it is quite normal to experience some discomfort and sensitivity afterwards. In fact, tooth sensitivity is a more common side effect than pain, and this can be managed by using discretion when eating and drinking.
This means avoiding hard or crunchy foods, very hot or cold beverages and prefer chewing on the other side of your mouth while you wait for the sensitivity to subside. In most cases postoperative pain can be managed through the use of over-the-counter medication.
It is also quite normal to experience some swelling and tenderness at the site in the days following your procedure, but this should improve and not deteriorate.
Any recurring pain could be an indication that you need to return for a second cleaning procedure.
Persistent Pain After Root Canal
In the event that you experience persistent pain, it’s important to report to your dentist. The pain could be an indicator that some damage was done during the root canal. The nerve endings in the tissues and ligaments surrounding your teeth may have become inflamed. It is also possible that persistent pain is caused by the temporary filling being too high, affecting your bite and casing pain or discomfort.
The Postoperative Period
While you recover from a root canal, you must practice a high level of dental hygiene, which includes twice daily brushing and flossing to prevent infection and future tooth decay. Remember to visit your dentist twice a year for professional dental cleaning so that any traces of plaque and tartar can be removed.
When Should You Contact Your Dentist?
If your pain hasn’t improved, or has become worse by the third day following your procedure, you should report to your dentist.
Do you still have questions about root canal pain? Please contact us as soon as possible so we can assist: (02) 8073 9218.