Specific Causes of Pain After Root Canal Treatment

17 December 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

For the most part, a root canal procedure is fairly painless, but you may still experience some discomfort in the surrounding area of the tooth. However, there are pain medications that keep the pain at bay. Therefore, you should assume that any post-treatment pain you are feeling is normal, except when such pain may be caused by different anomalies, such as these four:

Hyper Occlusion

In the dental industry, occlusion refers to the contact between teeth during chewing or rest. Therefore, hyper occlusion is a condition often caused by a tooth that is longer than it should be. This may happen after a root canal if the dental restoration slightly elevates the surface of tooth. As a result, your treated tooth will be prematurely hitting the opposing teeth for a painful result. The solution is to have the dentist shorten it and normalize the occlusion.

Phantom Pain

Phantom or ghost pain is a persistent pain that doesn't have an identifiable physical cause. It is related to the same pain amputees feel on their "limbs" even after the same limbs have been amputated. Dentists believe that it is related to the cutting of nerves in the pulp portion of the tooth. Ghost pain is frustrating since it can take both you and the dentist a long time to diagnose. It may even make you think there is a complication with your endodontic treatment even if there isn't. Luckily, the pain will subside on its own after some time.


Chronic teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a problem even in those who haven't undergone any dental treatment. It can loosen or crack your teeth. However, it can lead to excruciating pain immediately after root canal therapy. A root canal procedure bruises and irritates the tissues around the involved tooth, and grinding it will only irritate and inflame it further, thereby increasing your pain.


In some cases, root canal therapy may not get rid of all the infected tissues or bacteria from the pulp tip of the tooth. This is especially likely if the infection had spread into the jawbone bone. Such a situation may result into recolonisation of the tooth by the offending bacteria and cause inflammation and pain.

The dentist will give you some pain medications after your root canal therapy. He or she will also advise you on what to expect as far as the post-treatment pain is concerned. Consult a dentist, such as HP Family Dental, if you experience persistent pain or notice anything out of the ordinary after your treatment.