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Root Canals

Toothache 6 weeks after root canal

08/26/2006

Question:

I had a root canal done on my tooth six weeks ago and am still experiencing on-again off-again pain. Is it possible that there was another nerve in that tooth that was missed in the procedure? Could a crack in my tooth cause this pain even after a root canal? If so, would my only treatment option be a crown? Also, I have noticed that sometimes I clench my teeth while sleeping and I`m wondering if that could be related and how that could be treated.

Answer:

Yes, it is possible that a canal could have gone untreated and that is why you may still be having pain. However, there could be a number of other causes. It is possible that the tooth has cracked or was cracked to begin with. The symptoms of certain types of cracked teeth are not eliminated by doing a root canal. This is especially true of cracks that extend down a root below the gum line. The determination of the existence and extent of a crack needs to be done before a crown is placed. A severely cracked tooth will not get better even after a crown is placed.

Tooth clenching can be a source of tooth pain as well as cause cracking of teeth. If you know you have this habit you may want to discuss it with your dentist and see what appliances are available to help protect your teeth.

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Response by:

John M Nusstein, DDS John M Nusstein, DDS
Associate Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University