Big Smile Dental

Chicago dentist dispels myths and answers, “Why does my tooth hurt after a root canal?”’

Trust Big Smile Dental when the team says root canals are not a source of pain, but rather a way to relieve pain. This statement gets to the root of the biggest misconceptions about this common therapy. Root canal treatment is often the only way to save a badly damaged or infected tooth. By the time treatment from your experienced Chicagoland dentist is sought, you may be in severe pain. The pain is due to an infection that has progressed to the delicate center of the tooth or pulp.

ABC’s of root canal therapy

Generally, treatment is designed to remove the damaged pulp tissue. Afterward, the treatment site is cleaned, disinfected, filled, and sealed. Modern dentistry offers many ways to minimize or eliminate discomfort during the procedure. Local anesthetic and calming medications allow the procedure to be no more unpleasant than a common filling. Since root canal treatment brings relief to a serious and painful dental condition, it is often wrongly considered far more extensive and demanding on the body than a mundane filling.

Why does my tooth hurt after a root canal?

Following root canal treatment, some patients may assume they will be instantly free of pain because the nerves are removed during the procedure. As with any procedure, it is normal to experience some tenderness and sensitivity around the treatment site. The tooth itself will no longer be sensitive to hot or cold food and drink.

This tenderness is partly your body’s response to treatment as it heals. It may also be due to keeping your mouth open for an extended period of time during the procedure. Any discomfort usually resolves in a couple of days and can be relieved with medications.

You can help the healing process in the hours and days following treatment by:

Refraining from eating until any numbing medications wear off
Limiting diet to soft foods
Avoiding hard substances such as ice
Not relying on the treated tooth for chewing or biting until it is restored by the dentist
Maintaining good brushing and flossing habits

If you experience persistent, visible swelling on the inside of your cheek or outside of your mouth contact Big Smile Dental. If pre-root canal treatment symptoms, problems with the way the upper and lower teeth come together, or a rash or itching arise following the procedure call 773-772-8400 right away. Otherwise, get ready to get back to your life without the pain and sleepless nights associated with dental infections.