What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a major procedure involving deep cleaning inside the canals of the tooth caused by decay or damage that has irritated the gums and nerves of in the surrounding area of the tooth. Once this part of the procedure has been completed, a crown will be placed on top of it to protect your tooth and prevent additional damage.

Related Article: I had a root canal, why do I need a porcelain crown?

A root canal will help you avoid the pain you are experiencing from a decaying or fractured tooth and most people find huge relief once the treatment has been completed.

Why am I experiencing tooth pain after root canal treatment?

Experiencing pain after root canal treatment is pretty common for the first several days. In most cases it can be treated with over the counter pain medication, like ibuprophen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Experiencing pain or swelling for a longer period isn’t of time isn’t common and may require additional treatment.

Here are a few of the causes if you are experiencing pain after root canal treatment:

Infected Root Canal:

Even after your root canal has been completed, it’s possible for the tooth to become infected. This can happen when the filling leaks, because it allows your saliva’s bacteria to work its way into the edges of the filling. The bacteria can cause an infection within a few days once it’s inside the filling.

This is the main reason Dr. Roberts caps the tooth with a crown after he completes the actual root canal treatment.

Infection in the Bone:

If bacteria is sticking around the bone or root after your root canal, it can continue to be painful and inflamed. However, because the source of the infection was removed, bacteria have nowhere to continue to hide and your immune system will get rid of the infection in time. A course of antibiotics can speed up this process.

Missed Canal:

Teeth have several canals, especially molars. It’s always possible for a dentist to miss an infected canal which would:

  • leave a small pocket for bacteria to form and continuing to make your tooth sensitive to hot and cold
  • leave a bit of the nerve inside the tooth making it sensitive to pressure

Unfortunately, neither of these problems will heal on their own and you’ll need to have a second root canal at Adams Dental Group where their dental team uses state-of-the-art procedures and technology to correct these types of mistakes or avoid them completely.

Cement or Air Forced Through the Root Tip:

A root canal can be overfilled, causing some of the material to ooze out of the tip of the root. It may not even cause any pain.

  • If the root tip was infected prior to the root canal, you’ll probably never know that it was overfilled.
  • You will likely experience pain, if the tooth was not infected around the tip of the root.
  • Pain and pressure can also be caused by a tiny bubble of air that can be forced out of the root tip.

In any of these cases, any pressure or pain you are experiencing will subside on its own.

Oversized Filling or Crown:

The crown or filling can be just a tiny bit too big causing the opposite tooth to apply too much force or pressure which can also cause pain after root canal. This is an easy fix, as Dr. Roberts can adjust the filling or crown by removing the tooth’s high spot.

How Can You Take Care of Your Teeth After a Root Canal Procedure?

Taking care of your teeth is very important before and after a root canal and helps protect your teeth and new crown last for many years. Here are a couple of oral health care tips for you to follow:

  • Avoid chewing crunchy or hard foods immediately following your root canal procedure.
  • Brush your teeth a minimum of two times each day.
  • Floss once each day.
  • Reduce the amount of sugary drinks and foods you consume.
  • Schedule regular dental appointments at Adams Dental Group to keep your teeth healthy.
  • Quitting smoking can help too!


Travis A. Roberts and his experienced, friendly team at Adams Dental Group offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Kansas City, KS area. We have two locations that are conveniently located and offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Adams Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at our West location (913) 296-8030 or our East location (913) 621-3113 to schedule an appointment.

December 27th, 2017

Posted In: Services | Procedures