The term “Root Canal” comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth’s root. A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. Reasons for pain after a Root Canal Treatment: There are a number of possible causes of pain after the completion of a root canal. 1). Once the root canal treatment is completed no living pulp tissue remains inside the tooth, but nerve endings remain in the ligaments that attach the tooth to the surrounding bone. These ligaments have nerve fiber associated with them that can feel pain. They are the source of any post root canal pain. 1 2). One possible cause of pain is inflammation of the periapical tissues post root canal. This inflammation may be due to extruded sealer or ‘over instrumentation during the endodontic procedure. Sometimes the root canal files go past the apical terminus and can either inject some debris periapical or just damage the ligaments. This inflammation usually resolves by itself given enough time. 3 3) Another source of post root canal discomfort is a high bite and this can easily be corrected by a dentist. If a patient bites down, with no food in their mouth and their root canaled tooth hurts, then the bite should be adjusted. Teeth undergoing root canals should be not be in a heavy occlusion. 1234 High Bite check with articulating paper        Paper mark, showing high point on teeth 4). Another possible causes of pain are a persistent infection or a root fracture. If a root canal is completed, but an infection still is present around the periapical area then a retreatment may be indicated especially if significant time has gone by without a resolution of the infection. Sometimes an infection can be caused by a fracture of the tooth in question and in that case the tooth usually has a hopeless prognosis and requires extraction. 4 5). It is also possible, but not as common that persistent pain exists due to a sensitization of a nerve ganglion We have all heard of ‘phantom limb pain’. This similar phenomenon. Some of these patients can have pain even after the offending tooth is removed. These are a few reasons why a root canal can still bother someone after it is done. But root canal treatment is 98% effective, when it is done properly. It is almost painless and relatively fast and does indeed take away the pain! The tooth will always need a crown to protect it with the exception of a front tooth with no fillings in it or fracture lines. It is good to know that the treated tooth will last for many many years. Tips for Care after a ROOT CANAL A treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime with proper care. Root canals have a high success rate. Here are a few ways to take care of your teeth after a root canal:
  • Practice good oral hygiene – brush teeth twice a day, and floss at least once. Taking care of your teeth can help prevent future problems.
  • Visit the dentist regularly – cleaning and examinations by dentists.
  • Avoid chewing on hard foods – chewing on hard foods such as ice can cause teeth to break, and can harm root canals.
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