Root canal patients may experience pain while biting. Auburn Hills area dentist can help.

Much to your dismay, a tooth has become painful due to decay, infection, or both. Your dentist recommended and has completed a root canal to save the affected tooth. However, you are still experiencing pain in the area when biting. You may be asking yourself how this is possible. After all, the dentist explained that a root canal removes the inner pulp and nerve of the tooth. Isn't that tooth dead? How can I feel pain if there is no longer a nerve in the tooth?

First, it is important to understand that a root canal does not kill the tooth. The outer enamel and dentin are still alive and healthy. The innermost layer of the tooth, the pulp chamber, and the root are the areas affected by a root canal. The nerve, located in the root, and pulp chamber are not vital to a tooth's overall health and function. As a tooth begins to decay, bacteria can build up in the pulp chamber and irritate the nerve in the root of the tooth. The resulting infection from accumulated bacteria is what causes pain. Cleaning out the pulp chamber and root canal alleviates the source of the tooth pain.

Unfortunately, even after the root canal is completed, a patient may continue to experience pain when biting or chewing. There are a variety of reasons this may occur:
  • The tooth may still be experiencing some inflammation as a result of the prior infection or from the root canal treatment itself.
  • You may have a temporary filling, which is not ideal for chewing and may irritate the tooth.
  • A permanent filling or crown may not have the proper bite alignment.
  • An infection
The best course of action when experiencing pain or discomfort after a root canal procedure is to contact your dentist for an assessment. Under most circumstances, any discomfort or pain when biting or chewing is easily remedied with over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen. However, if the pain after initial root canal treatment is a result of a recurrent infection, your dentist will prescribe a course of antibiotics. If the pain is a result of an improper bite alignment, your dentist can complete the adjustment quickly and easily, usually during the assessment.

In the Auburn Hills area, if you or your loved one has had a root canal procedure and are experiencing pain while biting, contact the experienced dental professionals of Metropolitan Dental Center at (248) 365-7737.

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