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severe pain normal after root recanal?
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severe pain normal after root recanal?

I had a root canal retreatment 4 days ago and for the past two days have been experiencing SEVERE pain. Called endodontist about it yesterday and he said this is "normal" for up to 7 days following procedure. Is this true? I can understand mild or moderate pain but this kind of pain does not seem normal to me. I not only feel pain in the affected tooth, but in the jawline and tissues surrounding the tooth. It feels like a vice grip on my tooth and it is throbbing. I am on an antibiotic (amoxicillin) and am popping way more Motrin and Vicodin than I should.

I am also wondering just how necessary this procedure is. The only reason it was suggested is that I had a mild toothache for a few days, and the X-ray revealed what appeared to be an abcess (abscess) beneath the tooth in question. According to the endodontist who performed the retreatment, one of the canals was missed this time around.

It is a molar, bottom left - #19 I believe they said.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated. I am suffering. Thank you!
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Your presentation is not uncommon. Deocclusion of afflicted may help ease the pain.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your input. What do you mean by "deocculsion of afflicted"?
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Avatar_m_tn
selective grinding of root canaled tooth so that there is no contact with opposing tooth
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the same symptoms after my root canal. I was in SEVER pain. I was given a pain reliever and was told to put a heating pad on my jaw joint. The pain was unbearable. I missed three days of work, but the pain finally subsided.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for writing. I'm so sorry to hear you had to suffer like that. I know what you mean about "unbearable" - it really is!

I'm on day #7 now and still in some pain - taking Motrin 'round the clock and hoping it will get better, fingers crossed.
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Avatar_n_tn
You sound like a dentist (or endodontist) - are you?

Not sure how I will achieve "deocclusion" - maybe once final crown is put on?

Still suffering on day #7, though the pain is a little bit more manageable. I do feel some numbness when I press my finger against my jawline (near my ear), though, and that has me worried.
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Avatar_m_tn
Tenderness of jaw bone is mainly muscular origin. Seeing a tmj specialist is advised.
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530183_tn?1213087279
Very interested to know how you're getting on.   I am in the process of having a retreatment of a root canal done on a bottom molar.   My tooth also feels like it is under extreme pressure sometimes and throbs.   I was told to wait 1 to 2 months for improvement.   How are you feeling now?
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Avatar_n_tn
You have my sympathies! How long ago was your root canal redone, and why? Did you have an abcess (abscess) too? If so, are you taking antibiotics? I ask because my endodontist told me that the abscess (and "nasty bacteria") had a lot to do with the pain I was experiencing.

But here's the good news: For me, the worst was over 2 weeks following the procedure. I am now completely pain-free and have been for several weeks.

Please feel free to write again and I'll respond with any helpful input I can provide. My best advice to you is to be patient, take Motrin as needed (3 tabs every 8 hours worked well for me) and call your dentist if the pain is extreme.
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530183_tn?1213087279
Oh wow that's great for you!   Is there anything worse than chronic tooth pain!?!   I had the original root canal completed after 3 visits back in April of this year by my ordinary dentist.  My dentist ran out of time to put the permanent filling on the tooth at my third visit so I made an appointment to come back a couple of weeks after.   Everything had seemed fine up until then but during the 2 week period, things went haywire.   The tooth was beginning to feel uncomfortable and every time it was touched, even lightly with the tip of my finger, I was experiencing a terrible feeling......the only thing I can liken it to is running your fingernails down a blackboard!   I was also having short sharp nerve pains radiate in the tooth, which my dentist couldn't understand, as he was sure he had destroyed the nerve completely.  He wasn't happy putting a permanent filling on it so he referred me to an endodontist.  

The endodontist restarted the entire process on May 21st.   He said he found live nerve fragments underneath the crown (which was already on there from years ago) and he also was able to reach 1mm further down into one of the canals and I felt slight pain.   He said there was also a live nerve still operating down there and he told me he was able to kill it.  

There was no presence of an absess (abscess) at all.......I was on antibiotics back in April from my ordinary dentist just in case of infection but these did nothing at all.   So for the last 2-3 weeks I've been on painkillers.    I've only had the first stage completed and the endodontist said because the tooth has been worked on so much in the last few months, it could take up to 2-3 months before it settles completely before the final stage can be performed.   Ugh !  Good new is though that the sharp nerve pain I had been experiencing beforehand has never come back so he obviously got the beastly nerve!  

And I have found during the last 48 hours things may be settling a little bit (fingers crossed).   I haven't had to take painkillers for 2 days now and I only get a slight throbbing or pulsating in the tooth every so often, which only lasts about 30 seconds.   Unfortunately, I still can't chew on it or apply biting pressure, but someone else has answered another post of mine on this site and informed me that some teeth can take a few weeks before you feel comfortable with chewing on them again after extensive root canal work.   I'm hoping this is all it is and that, like you said, in my case patience is the key.

So glad you're feeling better........long may it continue :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
You sound like you are going through the same exact thing as me.  I had a cavity filled that needed to have a root canal..so I am going on three weeks of lovely pain.  I had the root canal done last Wednesday and then I was awoken in the night Friday by pain, went back to the endodontist and they found a small 'wing' off the main canal..they cleaned it and filled it.  My front lip went numb, my jaw muscle is all tight and knotted and the pain was so severe, I was in tears.

Went back to the endodontist and my root that was cleaned out is right on my jaw nerve, so there is serious inflamation (inflammation) from the work that was done.  Which is also why my lip and front teeth are numb.  So he put me on a pack of steriods to help with the inflamation (inflammation) and vallium at night to help my jaw relax and told me to put a warm wash cloth on my jaw and stretch my jaw at night as much as I could for 10 seconds at a time.

It is just the sucky anatomy of the thing.  Some people have roots that don't go anywhere near their nerves and others have their tooth roots right on top of the nerve.  He told me that day 3 and 4 after the procedure are the worst and if I can get through those, there should be a light at the end of the tunnel..  

He said the numbness won't completely go away for at least a couple of weeks or a month, but the pain should be good once the inflamation (inflammation) goes away, which is what the steroids are for.  So I missed a half a day of work yesterday and worked from home today...pretty good, since I was freaking out..I have only been at my job for 2 1/2 months and it took me a year to find.

Basically..I would get a second opinion from an endodontist that can see if your tooth is sitting on your nerve or not.  If so, see if you can get some steroids or something...it is about the only thing that really got my pain in check.  
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