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Root Canals

Why does my whole mouth hurt after root canal

09/08/2008

Question:

I had a root canal done on tooth #19 two days ago by an endodontist. They put a temporary filling on the tooth to last until my next visit to finish the process. I called the office the next morning because I was experiencing severe pain (it felt like it did before the root canal was even done). I keep experiencing sharp stabbing pain in the tooth but sometimes I feel these sharp pains in other teeth as well. Right now my whole mouth aches and I`m afraid to eat. They told me the day after that there had been a lot of infection and that they had to do a lot of digging. I was not given prescriptions for antibiotics or pain pills. I have been taking 4 200 mg tablets of ibuprofen to help with the pain and when it gets severe have even taken an Oxycodone that my husband had left over after a broken leg. Is this pain I am experiencing normal? Should they have given me antibiotics for the infection? I didn`t experience this kind of pain the first time I had a root canal done three years ago (different tooth).

Answer:

Having some discomfort or pain after a root canal is not uncommon. This is often due to an inflammatory process necessary for healing. Discomfort within the first couple of weeks can be well within the normal range.

If you are having problems managing your pain, you should speak with your endodontist. If you continue to have pain longer than the normal range or if you have a change in your pain or new symptoms develop, it would be best to be reevaluated by your endodontist to rule out any potential complications.

Antibiotics are only necessary when you have significant swelling and/or a fever. Please see previously answered question, Antibiotics after root canal? linked below.

Every tooth in your mouth is different, and the postoperative course of teeth varies. This is especially true for teeth with differing diagnoses. You should not expect this situation to be the same as previous root canal treatments.

Related Resources:

Antibiotics after root canal?

For more information:

Go to the Root Canals health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University