dental care


Pain in a tooth with a root canal and crown

by Jessica, answer by the Dentist
(Riverside, AL)

When you have a tooth with a root canal, it’s easy to think that this particular tooth with do you no harm. It should have been this way, but if the tooth gets reinfected, the pain can exacebarate. It is actually possible to have pain in a tooth with a root canal. One on the readers, Jessica, has a painful story to tell:

I had a root canal on my back right bottom molar about 3 years ago. I began having pain in the tooth a little over a week ago. It seems like the pain under the tooth is in the canals. The pain got so bad that I cannot chew or even touch that tooth! I went to the dentist about 3 days after the pain began. He X-rayed it and said that he could see no cracks in it. He also said that it was not abscessed. He said that it was hitting high and ground down the crown some. He gave me some antibiotics and told me to take ibuprofin. I called him the next day and told him that I was still in pain. He told me that my ligaments were probably irritated and the pain would go away in a few days. Well, that was four days ago and I am still in the same kind of pain. It feels even worse. It hurts so bad that I just want to rip the tooth out! If there is no crack and no abscess, what could be causing this horrible pain?

Dear Jessica,
For people who haven't experienced real tooth pain, it's sometimes hard to imagine that a single tooth can cause such a high degree of pain. Sometimes the symptoms are quite diffuse, and the pain can come from either a tooth with a failed root canal (that is, cracked, and with bacteria in it, causing an infection and inflammation), a nerve injury (which is not very likely in your case), a crown hitting high and causaing a traumatic occlusion (your dentist told you it might be this), a TMJ problem (which usually doesn’t give these kind of symptoms), or another tooth. The neighboring tooth can be the guilty one, because after one has had pain for a certain time, it is not easy to point out the guilty tooth and one can think and feel that it’s the neighboring tooth to the real guilty one. So this you should discuss with your dentist. Nevertheless, in your particular case, I do believe it’s a chance that the root filled tooth has been reinfected. I advise you to go back to your dentist for a full new examination. Good luck with handing with the pain from root filled tooth!

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