In June of 2019, I had a root canal done on an upper left molar. I’m surprised that I still feel pressure, sensitivity, and radiating heat in my tooth. I returned to the dentist two weeks ago and he said that there was another canal in my tooth that he needed to treat. He treated and filled the tooth last week. I received antibiotics to clear all the infection. I still have pain and pressure in the tooth. Is this common? – Thanks. Daneen from NM
Daneen – The postoperative pain and pressure you’re feeling are common. Pain or infection before the procedure increases the chances of discomfort after root canal treatment. It sounds like your dentist made the right treatment decision. We understand that you want relief, but your symptoms are not unusual.
What Causes Pain After Root Canal Treatment?
Although it’s normal to have minimal pain or discomfort, some causes of lingering pain include:
- Pain from pressure after a root canal treatment could be a symptom that the treatment failed.
- Pain from heat or cold usually means that there is another canal in the tooth that needs to be cleaned out.
Apparently, your tooth was infected. If some of the infected material was pushed toward the end of your tooth root, the tissue would be irritated and painful. Your pain should gradually decrease over the next few days.
If your pain is steady—or if it gets worse—contact your dentist. Sometimes, a bite adjustment can limit the impact on your teeth when you clench together. The relief from a bite adjustment can be immediate and long lasting.
Meanwhile, follow your dentist’s post-treatment instructions. And avoid chewing hard, crunchy, or sticky food on the side of your mouth where the tooth is located.
After the healing period, if you have ongoing problems with the tooth, it may be best to schedule a second opinion with an experienced dentist or endodontist, a specialist in root canal treatment.
This post is sponsored by Dr. Joseph Rota, DDS of Colorado Springs.