It is normal to experience some discomfort following a root canal. After the anesthetic wears off, you can generally expect some soreness and moderate discomfort. You should not experience any sharp pain as long as you follow your dentist’s instructions.
Causes of Pain After a Root Canal
Before leaving the office, your dentist will tell you what kind of over-the-counter pain medications you can safely take. Using a regular dose should be enough to dull any discomfort and keep you comfortable through the first couple of days of recovery following your root canal in Arcadia.
If your pain does not fade within two or three days, or if it becomes worse, then you need to contact your dentist in Arcadia. There are several potential complications that could cause you to continue feeling pain, and it is best to address them as soon as possible.
What Pain Is Normal?
A root canal is a fairly routine procedure, but it can be traumatic for the tooth and surrounding tissue. In the first day or so following a root canal, you can expect the surrounding area to feel a bit swollen and tender.
During this time period, you should refrain from drinking very cold liquids. Also, you should avoid chewing as much as possible. A cool, but not ice-cold, liquid diet is a great choice for the first day. By day two and three you should be comfortable moving onto soft foods.
As long as everything went to plan, the swelling should be down by day three or four. You may experience some occasional tenderness, but the pain should be subsiding. If the pain stays the same or gets worse, that is a sign that you may have a complication causing pain after your root canal.
Root Canal Complications
Most root canals have zero complications, but that doesn’t mean something can’t go wrong. These are some of the most common issues that could crop up.
A Canal Was Missed
Your teeth have several tiny canals going down to the root. During a root canal, it is possible to miss one, which would leave some of the infection in place. If it turns out that this is the case with your tooth, then the root canal will need to be redone.
The Infection Reached the Bone
Your dentist will take x-rays to determine the extent of your infection, but it is possible for the infection to progress between your x-rays and your procedure. If the infection has reached the jaw bone, then you will continue to experience pain until that infection is treated.
The Filling or Crown Is the Wrong Size
If the filling or the crown is over-sized, then it will affect your bite. When one tooth doesn’t fit with the rest of your bite, it takes on more surface pressure than the others. This can cause discomfort and even pain when you’re chewing. Fortunately, it’s usually an easy fix.
There Are Leaks in the Filling
The filling is intended as a seal to protect your tooth from further infection. If there’s a leak, then bacteria in your mouth could travel through the opening and re-infect the tooth. A second root canal may be necessary in this case.
Dealing with Root Canal Complications
Root canal complications are never fun. The good news is that they’re usually pretty easy to address, especially if you have the complication treated right away.
If you are experiencing serious pain or you notice that the pain isn’t going away with a few days of your procedure, then it is best to contact your dentist for an immediate evaluation.