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Still in pain after root canal 10 days later



Junior member
Nov 5, 2014
I had a root canal on a molar 10.5 days ago. I was doing mostly okay, but starting last night had more dull ache pains coming on in the evening. I've been taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen regularly, although I did have a break from them yesterday. Maybe it allowed the swelling to start up again?

I have no thermal sensitivity, so I don't think the root canal failed. And I don't think I see or feel any swelling or have any fever (temp is 99 F) so I don't think it's infected. I think it's still in the realm of normal, settling down phase after the root canal. I remember one of my previous ones (this is my 4th) took awhile to calm down too.

It's just so frustrating and scary. My dentist doesn't open until Monday morning (it's Saturday night now).

I guess I'll just keep up the ibuprofen? Tried icing my jaw/cheek, but of course the pain is going to be from the tissues internally.
I don't really have any advise because I am in the same boat as you, but just wanted to offer best wishes that your tooth settles. my root canal was finished a bit over 2 weeks ago and I am now looking for someone to extract it because I don't believe it is normal to have pain for so long. your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to see if that settles it.
ScaredyCat22, sorry to hear you're going through the same thing. From what I'm reading online, antibiotics might be useful. Also avoiding salt (can make swelling worse), hydrating well (can improve swelling), and light exercise (can help with swelling) are good. Some info from three people on a reddit thread I posted:

#1: Hard to say without x rays or assessment. Your symptoms are still within normal limits. Disinfecting the canals can push debris and bacteria out of the tooth and it takes time for your body to break this down and settle itself. A big part of healing after root canal is how good your immune system is at this point in time. Keep taking the same pain killers as you are. Ibu and acetaminophen are the best OTC. Speak to dentist asap. You may need antibiotics but these won't kick in for 48 hours. Good luck

#2: Dentist here! In terms of pain relief definitely keep up the ibuprofen/paracetamol combo. I'm Australian so don't really know what you guys have in terms of brand names. Other oral anti-inflammatories from your pharmacist should also help. Probably wouldn't recommend anything topical but icing it may help too :)

#3: What you are experiencing is pretty normal. It could take up to 1 month until the pain will go away. Keep up the medication and see your dentist asap. He may have more insight based on consultation and radiological imagery.
I think you should definitely speak to your dentist tomorrow and see about getting antibiotics. For myself, I have already tried that. I think yours may still settle because you were doing ok, but mine has never really had a single pain free day. on day 5 I thought the pain was finally letting up but on day 6 it came back even worse. I went back on antibiotics from day 6 through and including day 13, today is day 16 for me and I am still not pain free. for me there is a strong possibility that my tooth is cracked, but it doesn't show on xray.