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Root Canals

Pain after root canal

06/18/2007

Question:

I had an old filling changed, but after the novocaine wore off I was in a lot of pain for months. I had a sharp pain in the tooth, but also a lot of pain the gum. The dentist said the tooth was inflamed and needed a root canal. I know some pain is normal after the root canal, but is is normal that it is the same kind of pain, in the tooth and gum as I had before the procedure?

Answer:

Your question is not very clear. The pain you experienced after the new filling may be due to irritation of the pulp (or "nerve") of the tooth. If this tooth now needs to have a root canal, this pain should be resolved since the tissue that is causing it will be removed during the procedure.

If that pain continues after the root canal - then there is another cause such as a crack in the tooth, another tooth causing the pain, or something totally unrelated to the tooth at all, such as sinusitis.

I cannot tell what is causing or what type of pain you are having in the gums. That pain may be related to the filling that was placed or may be another problem. Be sure to tell the dentist/endodontist about this pain and have them evaluate it.

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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