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Yet again another root canal question!



Jun 14, 2008
Hi all,

I've posted so many questions about root canals so I thought it wouldn't hurt to post another!

I had my root canal done on Tues - no pain during the treatment as I was sedated and no real pain once the anaesthetic wore off although I did take 2 pain killers as that what he recommended. He did say to me that it was likely I would feel some pain and that it could take a while to go away. I'd like to mention here that he also said on a scale of one to ten, my root canal was about a 7 in terms of difficulty - lots of infection, very deep filling etc.

Since last tues I've been taking pain killers every day. As soon as I take a pain killer, the pain goes away. It doesn't hurt that much unless I leave it for quite some time in which case it aches (I think this could partly be due to the fact that I'm a teacher so I have to talk quite a bit). But like I said - as soon as I take a pain killer, the pain is gone.

I've not eaten on the tooth at all - some food has escaped over there and I've had a little go and whilst it seems to put up with it, the tooth still feels quite delicate and I don't think it could withstand be chomping away on some seriously chewy food.

I'm just wondering if what I've described is all normal? So far today I've only taken some pain killers in the morn and the tooth has not really caused me any probs. Because it was a difficult tooth, do you think that the pain might go on a bit longer than normal? Should I wait for my inlay to be put in before eating down on it (got to wait a month for this - not sure the difference between inlay and crown? just know it still costs quite a bit!).

Also it seems that once one thing goes wrong in my mouth, everything else starts..on the top right hand side of my mouth, my gum appears to be quite sore..not any of the tooth near the gum but just the gum itself..i've had a feel around and I can't feel any ulcers or anything but it's quite sore..if i move my mouth around i can feel it (it's like i'd expect an ulcer to be there but there isn't?) anyone have any clues as to what might be wrong? not had the sore gum long, just a few days after root canal (root canal may i add is on the other side and is on one of the back teeth)

Sorry for all the questions! I know you lovely dentists will help me

Steph x
Some completed root canals can be pretty achey during the first week. Does the bite seem high on the tooth? Sometimes a high temporary filling can aggravate the tooth enough to make it continue to be achey. You might want to give the dentist a call if it hasn't calmed down in the next few days.

I'm not sure about the bite - it doesn't overlap the tooth but the filling is right to the top..it doesn't seem to be the problem though. I've only taken 2 tablets this morning and although I've had a teeny bit of pain it's nothing that stops me from carrying on my normal routine. I've figured last night though that the problem seems to come from the back of the tooth - between the root canal tooth and the tooth behind, he put a bit of what looks like the filling mixture that's inside my root canal tooth - the edge of the root canal near that filling bit seems to be the bit that causes the problem - I hope I'm making sense?

Should I definitely see a dentist if the pain hasn't gone away by tues? I thought they were supposed to take longer than a week to settle down?
Well if it's not that bad you certainly could give it more time. A week or so is kind of a rule of thumb, but if it does seem to be getting better, that might be a good sign. I just thought it sounded a bit unusual to be needing to take painkillers after a week, but certainly some root canaled teeth can take a bit longer to settle down. If you're still needing pain killers after another 4-7 days, I'd probably let the dentist know.
Yes sorry - I've had the root canal and am waiting to have an inlay in a months time.

Perhaps this is a good sign then - yesterday I only took 2 pain killers all day and I was ok. Today I've taken none and the tooth has been fine, infact I've forgotten it was there for quite a lot of the day..

it is sensitive when I brush the tooth but only where I mentioned before - in between the root canalled tooth and the one behind.

perhaps I was just panicking?

it's perfectly normal that I can't eat on it though isn't it?

if i do, it becomes quite sensitive..i could probably get away with chomping on mush but it just doesn't like anything more than that and even that's pushing it with the softish food.
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Yep, usually after a week any aches should be fairly settled down in most cases, but that doesn't mean that it's healed up enough to bite hard on. It can take weeks to months before it gets to that stage as the bone does require time to fill in where the abscess was and for the tissues to heal up. You don't exactly run a marathon one week after knee surgery right?

It shouldn't be too sensitive to brushing, and any brushing sensitivity would most likely be coming from a tooth with a live nerve in it so it could be the molar that is behind the root canaled one that is responding.

Sorry me again! I swear I'll stop asking questions soon!

Does that mean there is a problem with the tooth behind? (before my lovely dentist I had seen another a while ago who said there was decay on the tooth behind..possible filling - could it be anything to do with that?)

Why do you think the dentist put the same substance that is in the root canalled tooth in between this one and the one behind it? Do you think it was because the tooth was badly damaged on that side?

I swear it feels like the corner right nearest to that stuff in between the tooth teeth is the bit that is causing irritation when brushing..the rest of the tooth is fine.

Just wanted to say thanks in advance of replying - I know you must be busy but I'm so glad you're here to help!
I could guess, but it would be just a guess. If the temporary filling is in the other molar as well, the dentist may have noticed some decay, cleaned it out from that tooth and filled it in with temporary material at the same time the root canal was closed up. This would be what's called caries control where say the dentist doesn't have enough time to place the permanent filling and work on the root canal at the same visit.

Often the temporary might not seal the cleaned out area that well which could explain the sensitivity on brushing. Okay I feel like drawing so here's a sketch drawn on my laptop with the touchpad.

SoooOOoo I'm guessing that the dentist filled in the blue part and the black part with white IRM temporary material (or equivalent). Maybe an edge of the blue area is exposed leading to toothbrush sensitivity. That's my theory, and I'm sticking with it!