I had a root canal done on an upper left molar in January. I was surprised to feel pressure, sensitivity, and radiating heat two months later. I returned to the dentist, and he said that there was another canal in my tooth that he needed to treat. He treated and filled the tooth last week. I received antibiotics to clear the infection. I still have pain and pressure in the tooth. Is this common? I feel like my bite is off too, but my dentist checked it and did the test where you bite down on paper. He said it looks fine, but it feels weird to me. In two months, it will be two years since this issue began. I’m afraid this procedure will fail and that I will need an extraction and implant. Thanks. JS from Islip, NY
Post-procedure pain is common. We understand that you want relief, but your symptoms are not unusual. It sounds like your dentist made the right decision. However, it it lingers, get a second opinion. Also, your dentist should resolve concerns about your bite.
Why Do You Feel Pain or Pressure After Root Canal?
You may feel pain or pressure after a root canal for these reasons:
- Pain or pressure after a root canal treatment could indicate the treatment failed.
- Pain from heat or cold usually means an untreated root canal remains in your tooth.
If dental instruments push some infected tissue toward the end of your tooth root during the root canal, it can cause irritation and pain. Your dentist removed the infection from another canal, so your pain should gradually decrease over the next few days.
Sometimes, a bite adjustment can minimize the pressure on your teeth when clenched together. If your pain is steady—or if it gets worse—contact your dentist. If you need a second opinion from a dentist to check your bite, please do so. An imbalanced bite can lead to increased discomfort and TMJ concerns. You should not need an implant, but you may choose to get a second opinion from a root canal specialist (endodontist).
Meanwhile, follow your dentist’s post-treatment instructions. Avoid chewing hard, crunchy, or sticky food on the same side of your mouth as the root canal tooth.