I had a root canal on a back lower molar in December and have been experiencing pain ever since. I have had two re-treatments by the endodontist with no relief. My gum around the tooth has been sore, and feels like it is trying to squeeze the tooth out of my mouth. Additionally, the tooth is sensitive and hurts when i bite on it (or when tapped). Both my dentist and the endodontist are sure the root is not fractured, and the x-ray looks fine, but I am not sure I can continue to live with this pain (which radiates into my ear and also causes terrible headaches). I am would like to have the tooth extracted but my dentist says it is phantom tooth pain, and the extraction will not solve the problem, only time. Has anyone experienced anything similar?
I'm going through this exact same thing! I had a root canal just over 2 months ago (my first) on a lower back molar. Ever since it hurts to bite down, chew, push from the side or top of it, or tap on it. I've been on a round of antibiotics, ibuprofen, and steroids and hasn't stopped it. Mine radiates to the ear at times too. Have you had any luck yet?
No relief yet. Like you, I've been on antibiotics (twice), medrol dose pack (twice) and OTC and prescription pain meds, though nothing really stops the pain and discomfort. Just had to cancel a vacation because of it. Even flossing and brushing hurt. I'm sorry you're going through this too. Have they ruled out a fracture of your root? Adjusted your bite? Do you grind your teeth? Did your tooth hurt before the root canal? I feel like there's an infection in my tooth that keeps coming back. Very frustrating. Please let me know if they discover anything in your case, and I'll do the same.
I will definitely let you know. Did they do full re-treatments on you (going back in with microscope, etc.)? I haven't had anything done except for another xray a week or so ago. Everything looks fine on it. The endo said I never had any infection to begin with but I did do a round on clindamycin just in case (because of ear/cheekbone pressure and a swollen gland.)
I asked about a root fracture and she said it's possible but very unlikely. She thinks it's residual inflammation from all the work. What tooth was yours? Mine was a 19 back molar with 4 canals and extra long curved roots.
Both dentist and endo checked my bite and said it was good, but sometimes I will get pain with my teeth just together or moving side to side. I do clench my teeth at night and wear a nightguard now (in fact the clenching could be why I needed a root canal to begin with.) I'm in my mid 30s.
The tooth/teeth in that area would hurt spontaneously and sporadically since October but it was the scary inner type throbbing so I knew something was wrong. Xrays all looked fine and actually the molar did not hurt to pressure/tapping or anything before the root canal... only after. Did yours?
Mine is tooth #18. I had a few re-treatments: one in which they excavated the initial root canal filling and went a little further, a second one where the endodontist put calcium hydroxide in the tooth to dissolve any remaining tissue and strengthen bone, and a third in which my regular dentist used something (electrosurge?) to "sterilize" the tooth. This last procedure, though painful, actually gave me a few good days before the tooth seemed to revert to its (now) normal throbbing and pressure, although it did seem to permanently solve the problem of tapping on the tooth/biting. They have left the root canal unfilled, as we are waiting to see if these issues resolve, and there was a wait between each of these procedures of three weeks or so. My tooth is much better than it was, but still worse than it was BEFORE the root canal; like you, it was first root canal ever, and they found no infection. I had been a tooth clencher, and the first endo thought that had permanently "inflamed" the nerve. Also like you, I could bite on it but had that constant intense throbbing which led me to have the first root canal (and tapping on it hurt). I have heard from dentists that there might be more complications in root canals where grinding/clenching is involved. I wish I could be more encouraging, but this tooth has been a challenge both to me and my dentists. I am actually considering extraction, though my dentist is opposed.
Geez you poor thing! 3 treatments, wow. Well I'm crossing my fingers for both of us that time will help. Did you have any crown prep done? I had crown prep I guess about 4 weeks ago and still have the temporary. They didn't want to proceed until the tooth settled down.
Mine doesn't hurt unless I'm touching it or sometimes if I drink water or suck in air a certain way. The pain seems to be with any pressure (even tongue). Brushing and flossing I definitely experience strong sensitivity/pain. Other times it does feel like a lot of pressure is in the area, and it radiates up to my ear/cheekbone.
I'm so nervous that it's something bad or serious but if they think it's ok to wait awhile I'm willing to. Hmm, very strange though that both of us have the same type of issues with adjacent teeth and are both clencher/grinders. Very well could have something to do with it.
I already had a crown on the tooth (that they drilled through to do the root canal). It was done after I cracked the tooth from clenching almost a year ago. Now I am wondering if the crown itself is problematic, or is hiding whatever is causing this problem. Do you have gum irritation surrounding the tooth, or just pain in the tooth itself? It seems incredible to me that our dentists can't give us a better explanation.
Hmm, it's hard to say whether it is gum irritation or not. I don't think there's a lot of swelling and my gum doesn't look more red than other areas, so maybe it's just the tooth. Today it feels pretty good though. Some days hurt worse than others, its weird.
Thanks Hannah. I wish there was an answer but sometimes teeth just act strangely. I am going to one of the best respected endodontists and I've asked another Dr. online and they all generally say the same thing... time will tell. Give it a few months to settle and see what happens. My only concern is that waiting will somehow make things worse (infection, sepsis, etc.) but they have calmed those fears so I feel better.
Just checking in. It feels like the crown on top of the root canal might be compromised in some way. Still trying to decide whether to extract or continue to wait. Jocelyn, any progress with your tooth?
sadie I had all sorts of aches and pains on root filled teeth where the root treatment was carried out on a crown. What I have found is that since I had new crowns on these teeth my symptoms disappeared. I think a better fitting crown helped keep out the bugs. Your grinding won't help.
Last edited by Administrator; 04-09-2013 at 08:22 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to followill For This Useful Post: sadie682 (03-23-2013)
How are your teeth now? I am in a very similar situation. I had root canal treatment 3 years ago. Canals weren't fully filled in as they were calciumised (apparently body's self defense mechanism). The tooth has been fine, no pain, sometimes sensitive when pressed but very brittle so 5 months ago I had a crown put on it. Again, it has been fine but about a week ago it started hurting. It's a dull ache. Tooth is sensitive to touch. It hurts when I bite with it or press on it with a finger. It's throbbing when I exercise. I went back to see the dentist who said it's a gum inflammation and advised me to floss around that tooth more vigorously. I have been doing so and also taking antibiotics to reduce the infection but no improvement. Still the same pain and throbbing.
I am still suffering and considering having the tooth extracted. I have gum inflammation like you, and my endodontist finally confirmed the presence of a "very small" fracture below gumline, which both he and my dentist insist is not the cause of my pain. But they still cannot identify what else might be causing the problem. Time to get a second (or third, in my case) opinion for both of us, I think.
Sorry I haven't been on here in so long. I'm STILL having the same exact pain with my tooth and it hasn't gotten better. I went to a new endo for a second opinion and even got the 3d cone xray done. He feels there is a possibility of a missed 5th canal in the molar. He shaved it down in case it was a bite issue and I waited a month... still hurt the same. He looked it over again, shaved even more... still hurts the same.
This new endo suggested a retreatment and I have to agree with him. Obviously it's not getting any better in 6 months. My problem is a constant periodontal ligament inflammation but the question is why? The new endo doesn't think it's a cracked root but again can't be certain until he goes in there. I still have on the temporary crown.
Sadie, I am so terrified of the Retreatment. How bad is it? My first root canal at one point 45 minutes in I started feeling pain and started blacking out. I'm so scared that will happen again. Are you doing any better? This Dr. wants to retreat with some medicine, let that sit a while, and then do the second filling part after a few weeks.
Sorry to hear you are still in pain, but hopefully your retreatment will be successful. I don't think my re-treatment was any worse than the original r/c as far as pain level during the procedure, but afterward I felt worse. I did the same thing with the medicine and the two-part re-treat, but I am still in pain. How do you know about the periodontal ligament inflammation? I don't understand if that's the diagnosis, or if your endo thinks your pain is from the (possibly) missed canal? In any case, I sympathize; it's incredibly frustrating to be unable to get something fixed (or even definitively diagnosed) when you're in pain. Good luck with the re-treatment, and let me know how it goes.