During a root canal treatment, the tissues and nerves in the area of the tooth will undergo some stress, even though you will be comfortably under anesthesia at the time.
Your endodontist will create a tiny opening in your tooth, clean an infection out, replace the disinfected tissue, and close and protect your tooth again. Nerves and gum tissue around that tooth can’t help but react and feel sore once the anesthesia wears off.
What Causes Soreness After a Root Canal?
Soreness is a natural reaction after the process of a root canal. Think of it like the bruise that you might get on your arm after a vaccination injection. It’s normal to get a bruise after a needle has been inserted in the muscle.
But your mouth soreness will heal within a few days as the body’s natural defenses take over and repair any microscopic tissue damage. If your pain stays at a high level after a few days, let us know! We can quickly find and address the cause of any lingering pain.
Modern Pain Management Techniques
During the root canal treatment, we will administer a local anesthetic to reduce all pain down to a sensation of pressure instead.
If you know that you have sensitive teeth, or if you have dental anxiety, we can also use dental sedation methods such as laughing gas, oral sedation, or IV sedation. Any of these can calm the part of your brain that creates anxiety, making you even more relaxed and comfortable.
After the treatment, you can manage any discomfort with over-the-counter medications, such as Advil, Motrin IB, or Tylenol. If you are on any prescription drugs already, ask your medical doctor what type of painkiller to avoid negative reactions.
You’ll also need to follow the instructions your endodontist gives you for avoiding damage to your tooth. This might include eating certain types of foods and avoiding other types. Sure, we all love a good caramel or steak dinner, but avoiding those foods can prevent unnecessary pain for now. You can also:
- Get a prescription-strength painkiller from your doctor, if needed (only to be used temporarily).
- Take up a relaxing movement-based practice.
- Dive into hobbies and/or family time that focus your mind on something you enjoy and create the hormones of relaxation and happiness.
Do You Need to Visit Your Endodontist Again?
The normal process after a root canal is for the tissue pain to diminish after a few days. Call us if you experience:
- Persistent pain that won’t decrease after three days.
- Persistent facial or oral swelling.
About 90% of patients only need one root canal treatment, but others need two or three before the root of the tooth is completely disinfected. If the pain won’t decrease, we need to find out the cause, which could be:
- A continuation of the infection, sometimes caused by a unique inner tunnel where bacteria was able to hide during the first treatment.
- A new problem, such as a different area of tooth decay, a tooth crack, or a damaged filling or dental crown.
- Your body adjusting to a dental crown that was placed to protect your tooth.
With our GentleWave system, which sends cleaning fluids into a tooth enhanced with sound vibrations, every hidden chamber is cleaned out automatically—even microscopic spaces.
We also perform root canal retreatments when needed, which means you can even visit Creekside Endodontics if your root canal from another provider has failed. You’ll get a thorough cleaning here with our GentleWave technology.
Remember that your pain or discomfort is temporary, and should start to decrease within a few days. If it doesn’t, your dentist or endodontist can find and end it quickly. Remember to brush and floss consistently in the meantime to help prevent new infections.
Also, any root canal pain will be far less severe than leaving an infection untreated. You did the right thing getting your infection treated, and any pain you might feel now will be gone soon!
Stop Dental Pain Today With a Root Canal Treatment
If you’re experiencing dental pain, contact us today! Whether or not you need a root canal treatment, we can identify and put a stop to any pain you’re feeling.