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Dental and Oral Health Center

Root canal pain

06/06/2007

Question:

I had a root canal done a week ago and a few days later I was supposed to get a crown fixed. I had so much pain after the root canal. When I went back to the dentist he said that he `did not` know why it was hurting, since the x-ray showed nothing and therefore re-did the root canal (i.e the cleaning of the canal, etc., but did not fill it because he wanted to see what was going on). This was done on Friday.

Ever since then, I have had excruciating pain. Pain that I have never ever felt before that I feel the need to go to the emergency room (I already did one root canal 10 years ago with no problems). It is a throbbing pain that seems to increase when I move around. I am on Vicodin, but that does not seem to help for too long. Would you happen to know the reason for this pain? Thank you.

Answer:

I really can't tell you what the source of the pain is. It could be due to the tooth that was worked on, it could be due to another tooth, or it could be unrelated to any of the teeth at all. You mentioned that you have throbbing pain whenever you move your head. That may indicate a possible sinus infection. Your physician would need to diagnose that for you. If you feel that the tooth is definitely the source of the pain, you may want to have a root canal specialist evaluate the problem for you.

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Response by:

John M Nusstein, DDS John M Nusstein, DDS
Associate Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University