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Old root canal really painful Dentist xray shows nothing



Junior member
Feb 3, 2017
Hello folks. I have dental fear because of a previous bad dentist and endo experience. I did not go to the dentist for a couple years, but had to because my teeth were having problems. I have a three year old root canaled premolar on top right that is killing me. So I had been noticing that my gums above the tooth and next to it have been really red lately. I did not think much because I recently had a post/crown put on the molar next to it.

About a week and a half ago I woke up in the middle of the night and caught myself really grinding my teeth. I had been really stressed lately because of the pandemic. My mouth was clenched tight and my premolar really hit the tooth below it. I got a really sharp pain from it that continued the rest of the night and the next day. I noticed the next day after that whenever I tried to chew on it I would get a sharp pain. The gums were sore also so it kind of ached too. This went on for about 5/6 days but noticed it got a little bit better each day. The tooth also felt high and big in my mouth. After a week passed I woke up in the morning and the biting pain was gone, the tooth felt lower, and I had that nasty taste of infection in my mouth. After that day the tooth progressively started hurting constantly, not sharp, but throbbing pain with lots of pressure. I also felt run down so I'm sure it's an infection.

I went to the dentist a couple days ago. He fit me in even though he was very busy that day. He examined my gum and thought there was some infection there. The xray showed nothing. The dentist wondered if the tooth next to it had some issues too. He gave me clindamyacin and said this should help getting the infection down to hold me until after the holidays. So far I have taken it for 2 days. It has helped with the draining, weak feeling in my body, and maybe just a bit for the pain. I'm a bit worried since the antibiotic hasn't worked well yet. I am thinking that I cracked the root canal or it is just an infection. I see my dentist on Jan. 5th. He mentioned going to the endo. I will not retreat the root canal but maybe he could see what's wrong with the cone beam. I'd like to know. I want to get it extracted though. Iwill have to go to the periodontist for that. This root canal never felt right and I avoided eating on it for a while. I had a root canal on my other side that is waiting for the temp, so I had to be eating on the right side. What do you think, did I crack my root canal? Do you think the antibiotic will work? I don't want to have to go to an emergency dentist. I have an endo and periodontist that I trust. This is the wrong time to have an emergency, during the pandemic and the holidays. Sorry for the long post, but I am in pain and it distracts.
Hi Becky937,

sorry to read about your situation. The questions you are asking are impossible to answer over the internet, but I understand that it's what is on your mind. As you mentioned, it is really the wrong time to have an emergency... Jan 5th is not too far from now, so I will be keeping my fingers crossed for the antibiotic to help so that the time until your appointment will stay bearable. If you still feel the antibiotics is not working, maybe calling your practice to get some advice may be a good idea, provided they have open somewhere between the holidays. If writing here distracts you from your pain or worries, feel free to post as much as you like!

All the best wishes and keep us posted
Thank you for replying. My dentist is the sole practioner. He had his suitcase in his office so I believe he is away. The antibiotics are helping knock down some of the pain. The clyndamiacin is making me so tired. I still have to take ibuprofen constantly. I can't put any pressure on it. I've read that x-rays do not show everything. For instance it did not show infection, and I sure it's infected because the pain lowered a lot. The very red gums went away too. My jaw is stiff and achey from this. I'll try to hold out to the 5th. Anyone have a painful old root canal with nothing showing on x-ray? Thanks folks.
Hello. I'll keep this log until I have found the right diagnosis for my tooth. I believe it is a cracked root canal tooth. After the holidays I'll make an appointment for the endo. I need a cone beam xray there to see what's up. It feels a bit better overall especially after stopping the antibiotics. Boy clindamyacin is strong as I felt so sleepy and out of it. I am able to use less anti-inflammatories, so that is good. I tried pressing down on the one cusp in the back. that I found myself clenching on two weeks ago. Yup every time I press it the pain comes on upon release. It felt very painful then so I took one ibuprofen and one tylenol. The pain went and it's dinner time and no more painkillers needed today so far.

The dentist on the 5th will give me a temporary crown for the rc'd molar on the left. I'll be able to eat on that side until I get the painful tooth on the right sorted. I think it will be eventually extracted. I surely don't want to lose a tooth, but it is what it is. I'll update again.

I'm sorry to not have a specific answer either but wanted to say I read your post and really hoping you can get some pain relief and it goes down and holds on until the 5th.! Hoping the best for this tooth for you! Please keep us up to date on how things go.! :grouphug:
Thanks kr for stopping by with your support. I have a bit more information. I noticed before I went to the dentist that my gums above that tooth and an adjacent tooth were very red and spread up from my teeth about an inch. My dentist noticed that too. The redness now is mostly gone. So something is brewing. I only took ibuprofen and one tylenol yesterday and the pain held all day. Today though I woke up in the middle of the night with the toothache and could not go back to sleep. I took 2 ibuprofen and 1 tylenol this morning. It still hurts but it is tolerable. This has been hurting for 16 days.

I went to my content info and saw my first post and I do not think this is a coincidence. The post is titled what is the longest it takes a root canal to settle. It was this tooth I was talking about. It improved but took a loong time. It never felt right so I avoided eating on it. If I bit down on the tooth it would hurt a bit. I think the RC'd tooth is coming full circle and I'll pull it. I am soo curious what the previous endo did. I bet he missed a root. Also I've noticed that the back cusp when pressed and released causes increased pain. There is a crown on the tooth, but it still can crack. I remember waking up clenching and the tooth hitting my bottom tooth right in that spot. I don't know why, in the middle of the night, but I made myself awake and note exactly where the tooth hit. Sharp bad pain followed. I may hold out to see the endo just to get some answers. I will not retreat it.
Cold water and yogurt makes it feel a bit better.
I saw my dentist a couple days ago. He put a provisional crown on the recently root canal so I could eat on the left side since I am having trouble with the right side. Now he tells me that he does see some things on the xray. He says tooth 4 (the one that was really hurting) shows what looks like an infection on the root tip. He says I should have an apico on that tooth. The dentist says the xray for tooth 5 looks worse that tooth 4. The dentist shows me the dark area near the side of the tooth 5. The area is between tooth 4 and 5. I'm thinking well it could be the infection from tooth 4? But I know nothing about these things. He recommends an apico for tooth 5 also.

I have an appointment with the endo I trust. Unfortunately he is popular and have to wait a few weeks for the appointment. Tooth has low level pain at this point. I've never had an apico before so this is concerning especially it's two teeth next to each other. It's going to hurt I assume afterwards.

The endo will be doing cone beams and will evaluate each tooth. I am hoping that tooth 4 shows a crack. I think it has one by the way I bit down on it and the pain after. This tooth after it's old root canal never felt right and I avoided eating on it. It hurts now when I eat and press down with the back cusp of the crown. Dentist said I could have a horizontal crack in tooth 4. I've read the long term success rates are high for apicos. This endo has the most up to date equipment and skills. He is the best in his practice of about 7/8 endos.

This is all very stressful. My sleep has gone south. Oh well. I'll keep updating.