Pain after root canal: causes and relieving the pain

The endodontist will first numb the area and then make a hole inside the tooth. He will remove the pulp from the chamber and root canals using small instruments. The canals are cleaned and shaped to make space for the filling. The canal is then filled with a rubber like substance known as gutta- percha and then it’s filled with an adhesive on top for sealing it. The endodontist will put a temporary filling for protecting the inside of the tooth while healing.

After a few days, the temporary filling might be removed and a crown will be placed for restoring the tooth.

Cause of toothache after denervation 

Most people feel sensitivity and tenderness around the tooth for the first few days. Pain and discomfort of the following level can be normal:

  • The tissues around the gum remain swollen or inflamed.
  • It’s also possible that a dental instrument used to clean out the canal inadvertently damaged the sensitive surrounding tissue.
  • If the temporary filling is little higher than the surrounding tooth, it can cause the mouth to bite harder on that spot and make the tooth sore.

If you have a root canal and experience pain afterwards, here’s why and what to do about it.


When you have a root canal, it’s usually because of decay that has caused infection in the pulp of a tooth. Your dentist will remove the infected pulp and clear away the cause of the pain and inflammation. But if the infection has spread to the gums or surrounding tissue, it will still take time before the swelling around the tooth subsides. The procedure itself may also cause some inflammation. Just make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions about taking anti-inflammatory medications after your procedure and the pain should ease in a few days.


When the pulp is scooped out of your infected tooth, your dentist will fill it with a rubber like material. If too much is used it will cause pain every time you bite. Fortunately, this is a simple problem to fix. Your dentist will just need to adjust the filling.


Your dentist performs root canals all the time, and chances are that everything will go as normal. However, there’s always a chance that the surrounding tissue will be damaged by the procedure. This can occur in a variety of ways. The file used to clean the tooth can slip and poke into the tissue below, the bacteria can escape into surrounding tissue, or the filling can overflow. In all these cases you will just need time for the tissue to heal and then the pain will vanish.

how to deal with pain after root canal? 

It’s normal to experience some swelling and sensitivity after a root canal, but with extra care, you can help your tooth recover quickly. Here are a few tips that will help you.

Use an ice pack

An ice pack is a great way to bring down swelling. Hold it against your cheek and jaw on the side of your root canal as often as you can to speed up recovery and ease discomfort.

Avoid exercise

If you exercise too soon after your root canal, you could increase any aching and slow down the healing process. Avoid it for at least a few days, following your dentist’s advice.

Don’t smoke

If you smoke or vape, avoid it for the next few days. The chemicals you inhale can interfere with your healing and slow it down, which you definitely don’t want! If you think you’ll struggle, try nicotine patches to make it easier.

Get plenty of rest

As with any surgery, it’s so important you get the rest you need after a root canal. This is going to do wonders for speeding up your healing and getting you back on your feet in no time! If you can, try and take a couple of days off work after your treatment and treat yourself a little gentler than you usually would.

Try to get plenty of sleep, stay off your feet, and keep up with your medication. Your body needs to heal, so give it a helping hand.


After a root canal, you have to watch out for the three W’s: when to eat, where to chew and what to eat.

  • Do not eat anything until the numbness from the anesthesia wears off. If you try eating too soon, you may cause added injury by biting your tongue or cheek.
  • Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until it has been fully restored. Some endodontists will use a temporary filling first and place a permanent crown a few days later.
  • Do eat soft food for the first couple of days. Be careful when eating food that is crunchy. If you were to accidently bite down with a tooth that still has the temporary filling it could cause the filling to chip or break.


Most of the time, you will feel little to no pain after a root canal, but occasionally, some people will have mild discomfort in the tissue and ligaments that surround the tooth that had the root canal. This usually happens during biting down or chewing. The ligaments that surround the tooth become irritated and swollen and can be sensitive to touch and pressure. Although not uncommon, this added aggravation can cause discomfort during chewing. Your endodontist can reduce the biting forces on the tooth to lessen the impact you feel while eating.

Your endodontist may suggest you take over-the-counter products for a couple of days to help with the discomfort. In an even rarer instance, the pain after a root canal can become severe. If you experience this type of pain, you should see your endodontist as soon as possible.


During your recovery, it is important to keep up your daily brushing and flossing routine. If you haven’t had one up until now, this is the perfect time to start. Your dentist will want to keep up with the health of the tooth that had the root canal plus your other teeth and gums, so regular checkups and cleanings are also recommended. Your dentist or endodontist may also periodically x-ray the tooth to ensure that healing has occurred.

Occasionally, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or pain continues. You could also experience a relapse months, or even years later, after successful treatment. Preventative care is needed so this does not happen, but if it does, most likely you will be referred back to an endodontist to repeat the procedure and save the tooth. A tooth that has had appropriate endodontic treatment, proper restoration and a good daily regimen that includes brushing and flossing can last as long as your other natural teeth.


So, root canals are not evil and your endodontist is your friend! This may be hard to believe after all the negative hype that you have heard about root canals, but it is true! Your endodontist will have specific instructions for you after your procedure. It is imperative that you follow these instructions to give you the best possible outcome with a complete and successful recovery.

If you have any questions or concerns during your recovery period, call your endodontist immediately. He or she wants to hear from you! They do not want you to worry about something when they can easily address the issue, whether it is serious or not. Root canals and the recovery process can be pretty simple and comfortable for most patients, but everyone is different and recovery will vary between patients.


  • A visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth
  • An allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction)
  • A return of your original symptoms
  • Your bite feels uneven
  • You think your temporary filling has come out (It is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off during your wait for a permanent filling, but if you think it has fallen completely out, you will want to have it checked.)

Root Canal Re-Treatment

After a root canal procedure, some teeth may not heal as expected, or may develop a new infection, necessitating another root canal. This usually occurs when the initial treatment did not remove all of the infection; when decay again accumulates in the treated area; or when the tooth becomes cracked or loose, and is exposed to new infection.

Some patients may not experience any symptoms from a reinfection, while others may experience swelling or pain while chewing. In order to treat a tooth that did not heal properly or has again become infected after a root canal procedure, a re-treatment procedure may be performed to ensure that the tooth is thoroughly cleared of any decay and is able to function.

Candidates For Root Canal Re-Treatment

Root canal re-treatment is performed in an attempt to save the tooth from extraction. Saving the natural tooth often yields healthier results, and many re-treated teeth can function well for years, perhaps even for the rest of the patient’s life.

For patients who choose not to undergo re-treatment, endodontic surgery, which is a much more invasive procedure, may be necessary. Endodontic surgery involves making an incision to gain access to the tip of the root.

Root Canal Re-Treatment Procedure

During re-treatment, the affected tooth is reopened to gain access to the root canal filling. This may require disassembling crowns, posts and other restorative materials in order to reach the root of the tooth. The filling material from the initial procedure is removed and the canals are thoroughly cleaned. Using magnification and illumination, the area will be carefully examined to detect possible additional canals or unusual areas.

After the canals are cleaned, the tooth is again filled with gutta-percha, and the canals are sealed. A temporary filling is placed in the tooth. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the affected area and relieves any pain and discomfort. The anesthesia also helps patients relax.

A follow-up appointment will be needed to permanently restore, using a crown or other material, the tooth, allowing it to function fully, and protecting it against future infection or decay.