Dental Health Blog

How Much Pain Is Normal After Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, but this sometimes necessary treatment is meant to alleviate pain caused by decaying amd infected teeth, not worsen it. That said, it’s normal to experience some minor pain, swelling and tenderness around the affected tooth following the procedure. Here’s a quick guide to knowing when to contact your dental team to discuss excess pain following your treatment. 

The procedure

A standard root canal is usually performed under local anesthesia, meaning dental sedation isn’t normally required. As the anesthesia wears off, your gums may be tender and sore around the treated tooth. Although considered a serious procedure, root canals are routine, and performed by trained dental professionals daily. The pain experienced after a root canal should be a little worse than that felt after a filling or any other routine dental procedure.

Root canal treatment aftercare

Proper aftercare is the key to ensuring proper healing and preventing infections, one of the top reasons patients experience extended or severe pain following root canal treatment. Dental professionals recommend using over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, using ice packs to control swelling, and avoiding chewing around the affected area. It’s also important to continue your daily oral hygiene routine, using gentle pressure when brushing around the treated tooth, and using salt water to rinse out your mouth throughout the day.

When to contact your dental care team

The pain you experience after a root canal should lessen over the days following your procedure, provided you’re following the aftercare instructions given by your dentist. However, from time to time and even under the best conditions, things get missed and infections or adverse reactions occur. 

If significant visible swelling, misaligned bite, pain and tenderness lasting more than a few days following treatment or any of the symptoms experienced prior to treatment return, immediately contact your dental care professional for further instruction. Ignoring an infection can become serious very quickly, as dental infections can easily cross into your bloodstream, causing serious illness requiring immediate emergency medical intervention.

Offering a warm and welcoming environment and modern equipment, as well as competitive pricing, extended hours and direct billing to most major insurance companies, the friendly, professional dental care team at Stoney Trail Dental are ready to answer any questions and get you booked for your next appointment as soon as possible! Call us today at 403-328-2948, or fill out our convenient contact form here, and let us contact you!


Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a registered dentist on October 20, 2022

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