Tooth Pain Persisting After A Root Canal? What You Should Know

If you've been dealing with persistent tooth pain and your dentist suggests a root canal to ease the pain, you may feel relieved. Unfortunately, some root canal procedures are not as effective as others. You may find yourself struggling with persistent pain after the root canal is finished. Here are several reasons why pain may persist following a root canal treatment.

Residual Infection

In some cases, some residual infection persists in the bone around the root. When that happens, the infection can cause inflammation, which leads to pain. In most cases, the lack of remaining tooth root eliminates the bacteria's feeding source, so the infection dies on its own. Your dentist may opt to prescribe an antibiotic to help speed things along. An antibiotic prescription is particularly common if you have an autoimmune disease or another condition that hinders your ability to heal after procedures like this.

Overfilled Canals

Sometimes the filling procedure can actually lead to problems as well. If the tooth's canals are overfilled and there's no space for that extra filling material to go, it will lead to excess pressure under the crown. In some cases, the excess material can even cause inflammation in your gums. This discomfort may last for a few weeks while the excess material works its way out. In some situations, you may need to have another surgical procedure to remove excess material. This is usually restricted to situations where the excess material is bound up beneath the crown and worsening the pressure on the tooth.

Residual Nerves

If the root canal procedure ended with a residual nerve left behind, that nerve may cause you lasting pain. This often happens if a canal is inadvertently missed in the process. If this is the case, you'll find that your tooth is still sensitive to temperature fluctuations and pressure. Call your dentist right away if this is the case, because that residual root may actually allow bacteria to thrive, worsening your infection. Your dentist may need to repeat the root canal procedure to get the remaining root. Once all of the nerves are removed, your pain should stop.

As you can tell from this information, there are a few situations where you may still experience some pain after a root canal. While situations like these are rare and most root canals result in nearly immediate relief, it's in your best interest to familiarize yourself with these risks just in case. Visit a website like to learn more.