pain after root canal

Is Pain After a Root Canal Normal?

Root canals have a reputation for being painful and scary. However, this is a common misconception. The discomfort you experience after a root canal depends on your level of pain tolerance and how much time has passed since the procedure. 

What is a Root Canal?

The part of your tooth that is positioned in your jaw bone is known as the root. This contains the root canal, where the pulp resides. When this area becomes infected, it’s necessary to treat it as soon as possible in order to save your tooth and prevent the infection from spreading. A root canal is a procedure where your dentist removes the infected pulp inside the root canal of your tooth, deep cleans and disinfects the canal, then seals the tooth.

Your tooth may require a crown if it is too weakened after the root canal. This usually depends on the amount of damage to your tooth and its placement inside your mouth. Back teeth typically require a crown because they undergo more stress from chewing than your front teeth. Placing a crown requires a separate appointment with your dentist so it is extremely important to take good care of your recently treated tooth until it is fully restored. When a crown is not required, your dentist will use a filling to restore your tooth. 

How Much Pain Should You Expect After a Root Canal?

If you’ve ever thought, “I’d rather have a root canal,” then you probably have the impression that a root canal is a painful procedure. Thanks to anesthesia, painful root canals are actually a myth. You shouldn’t feel any pain when undergoing a root canal, only a slight pressure. 

However, once the anesthesia wears off you will begin to experience minor pain and sensitivity due to irritation from the root canal. Your jaw may also feel sore from keeping it open during the procedure. This is a normal part of the healing process after any major dental procedure. Your pain and discomfort should only last for a few days.

When to Seek Help

While it is normal to experience some pain and discomfort after a root canal, any long lasting or severe pain is cause for concern. See your dentist right away if your pain persists for more than a few days, is negatively impacting your everyday life, or if the severity of your pain does not decrease. Treatment may require another root canal to further clean the infected area or a prescription for pain relieving medication. 

Managing Your Pain After a Root Canal

Taking care of your oral health will help you recover in no time. There are plenty of simple steps you can take to keep your pain to a minimum after a root canal:

  • Avoid hard, sticky, and crunchy foods
  • Don’t chew or bite down on the affected tooth until it is fully restored (when a filling or crown is placed)
  • Gently brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Reduce consumption of sugary drinks and foods

Root Canal Treatment in Gilbert

Treating tooth pain as quickly as possible is essential to maintaining your oral health. If you are experiencing ongoing tooth pain of any kind, whether you have undergone a root canal or not, contact us at Lifetime Family Dental immediately. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/9/2021). Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay