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Does Tooth Pain Increase After Root Canal Treatment? All You Need To Know

February 3, 2023

Does Tooth Pain Increase After Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that is often performed to alleviate pain and save a tooth from extraction. During this procedure, the infected or damaged pulp inside the tooth is removed, and the tooth is cleaned, filled, and sealed. While root canal treatment can be highly effective, some people may experience tooth pain after the procedure. In this article, we will explore the possible causes of tooth pain after root canal treatment, along with the symptoms and treatments.

Causes of Tooth Pain After Root Canal Treatment:

  1. Incomplete Root Canal Treatment: If the dentist fails to remove all the infected pulp or misses a canal, it can lead to the persistence of pain or sensitivity in the tooth.
  2. Reinfection of the Tooth: Bacteria can enter the tooth through a cracked or leaking filling, which can lead to re-infection of the tooth and pain.
  3. Fractured Tooth: After root canal treatment, a tooth may become brittle and more prone to fracture, especially if the tooth was already compromised before the treatment.

Symptoms of Tooth Pain After Root Canal Treatment:

  1. Persistent Pain and Sensitivity: Even after the root canal treatment, some patients may continue to experience pain and sensitivity in the treated tooth.
  2. Swelling and Discomfort: The gum tissue around the treated tooth may become swollen and uncomfortable, which can be a sign of infection.
  3. Painful Biting or Chewing: If biting or chewing causes pain, it may indicate that there is an issue with the root canal treatment.

Treatments for Tooth Pain After Root Canal Treatment:

  1. Over-the-Counter Pain Medications: Painkillers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help alleviate pain and discomfort.
  2. Antibiotics: If the tooth is infected, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and alleviate pain.
  3. Root Canal Retreatment: In some cases, the tooth may need to undergo a second root canal treatment to address any unresolved issues.


Tooth pain after root canal treatment is a common occurrence. The causes of pain can vary from incomplete root canal treatment to re-infection of the tooth or a fractured tooth. Patients should report any persistent pain, swelling, or discomfort to their dentist immediately. Treatment options for post-treatment pain include over-the-counter pain medications, antibiotics, or root canal retreatment.


Is it normal to have pain after a root canal treatment?

It is normal to experience some discomfort or sensitivity after the procedure, but persistent pain is not normal and should be reported to the dentist.

How long does it take for the pain to subside after root canal treatment?

The pain should subside within a few days to a week after the procedure. If the pain persists, it may indicate an issue with the treatment.

Can a tooth still hurt after a root canal treatment?

Yes, a tooth can still hurt after a root canal treatment if there are unresolved issues.