Tooth pain after root canal treatment: How to manage it

Experiencing tooth pain after root canal treatment is quite common, but with these effective tips from a dentist, you will be able to manage it well!
Tooth pain after root canal treatment
Reduce tooth pain after root canal treatment with these tips. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Published: 30 Sep 2023, 14:30 pm IST
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Are you scared of getting a root canal treatment done just because you have been told about the persisting pain it can lead to? Yes, at some point in our lives, we may find ourselves asking people, “Does it pain after root canal?” Well, a correctly done root canal treatment can be only mildly painful with the help of modern technology such as lasers, apex locators, computerised X-rays, rotary instruments and lastly but most importantly, through knowledge and skill of the expert. But just in case you have pain, let us tell you how to manage tooth pain after root canal treatment.

Why does the tooth pain after a root canal treatment?

To address the pain, it’s crucial to first comprehend why it occurs. During a root canal treatment, the dentist removes infected pulp from the tooth, cleans the area, and seals it. However, some residual inflammation and discomfort can persist due to several factors, including:

  1. Post-Operative Inflammation: Your body’s natural response to the procedure can lead to some inflammation in the surrounding tissues.
  2. Tissue Irritation: The instruments used during the root canal may have gone beyond the tooth apex into the surrounding tissue and this can cause irritation to the surrounding tissue.
  3. Cracked Tooth: Sometimes, a cracked or fractured tooth may not be detected during the initial assessment or may occur during or after the root canal procedure. A cracked tooth can cause pain and may require additional treatment.
  4. High Bite: After a root canal, if the tooth is not properly aligned with the opposing tooth (a high bite), it can lead to pain when biting or chewing.
Tooth pain treatment
Yes, the truth is toothache hurts! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to deal with tooth pain after root canal treatment?

Now that we understand the root causes of post-root canal tooth pain, let us delve into the strategies for managing it effectively.

  1. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

One of the quickest ways to find relief is by taking over-the-counter pain relievers. Non-prescription medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort. Ensure you follow the recommended dosage instructions and consult your dentist if you have any concerns.

2. Cold compress

Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Use a clean cloth or an ice pack wrapped in a towel and gently apply it to your cheek for 15-20 minutes at a time. Be sure to take short breaks in between to prevent frostbite.

3. Maintain Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is essential for preventing further complications. Gently brush and floss your teeth, but be cautious around the treated tooth. Using a toothbrush with soft bristles can minimize irritation.

Root canal treatment
A root canal treatment can help you treat cavity problems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Avoid hard or crunchy foods

While your tooth is healing, it is advisable to avoid hard or crunchy foods that could exert pressure on the treated area. Opt for softer, easy-to-chew foods to prevent aggravating the pain.

5. Warm Saltwater Rinse

A warm saltwater rinse can help soothe oral discomfort. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth gently. This can aid in reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

6. Follow up with your dentist

If the pain persists or worsens after a few days, it is essential to schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist. They can evaluate the healing progress and address any concerns or complications.

Also read: These 5 home remedies for toothache can make the pain disappear

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Experiencing tooth pain after a root canal is not uncommon, but it can be managed effectively with the right strategies. Over-the-counter pain relievers, cold compresses, proper oral hygiene, dietary adjustments, warm saltwater rinses, and regular dental follow-ups are all valuable tools in your arsenal for a pain-free recovery. Remember, if the pain persists or becomes severe, always consult with your dentist for professional guidance and care. Your comfort and oral health are of utmost importance.

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About the Author

With more than three decades of experience, Dr Ashish Shah serves as a super specialist dental surgeon in a private practice in Mumbai. ...Read More

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