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Throbbing pain after root canal. What to expect?

Throbbing pain after the root canal is something that should not be taken for granted. Pain after the root canal is commonly seen in 60 to 70% of patients. But the pain should be mild and usually stays for few days. Mild pain usually subsides after few days and requires simple over-the-counter medications.

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Here are a few causes of severe throbbing pain after a root canal.

Throbbing pain after root canal

Root fracture

Root fracture during a root canal can result in severe throbbing pain even after root canal. The pain usually aggravated upon biting and will be unbearable.

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Dry canals in dead teeth are usually brittle and can be easily fractured during root canal treatment. But the fractures are complicated to find and usually not seen in normal X-ray films. Hence most dentists find it difficult to visualize these fractures.

But pain after root canal, from a root fracture is more painful than before the treatment. It is one of diagnostic criteria to identify or expect root fractures after root canals.

Root canal treated teeth with root fractures are the worst cases to deal and tooth removal is the best option.

Infected teeth

If the infection does not subside even after the root canal, then there are chances that the same infection may spread into the teeth’ surrounding areas and destroy the surrounding structures. As a result, the structures that support the teeth will be destroyed. Such infections are called Endo-Perio lesions.

Endo-Perio lesions are difficult to treat. The teeth usually present with a pustule or gum boil (In the gum region) after the root canal. This is one common sign indicating that the infection has entered into the surrounding environment of the damaged teeth.

The teeth usually starts moving and will show pus coming out of the gums in few cases. Frequently you may find a boil or pustule like structure around the tooth.

Persistent infection even after root canal treatment is difficult to treat. Therefore, sometimes Re-root canal can be the choice of treatment. But in most instances, tooth removal will be the best option.

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Incomplete root canal filling

Incomplete root canal filling might cause pain in teeth after the root canal. The primary cause for such pain should be a re-infection of the root canal. But the pain usually starts after a period of time. Patients usually may not suffer from severe pain immediately after the root canal. The pain usually starts from the 5th day or the 6th day after the root canal.

Such pains can be easily manageable. Usually, Re-Root canal will be the treatment choice, and in most instances, it becomes successful, and pain might subside after the treatment.

Excess biting

Teeth after root canal treatment usually loses its strength. Such teeth tend to fracture when severe biting force is applied. Hence dentists usually suggest dental crowns to protect root canal treated teeth.

Hence any hard biting force after a root canal might cause internal tooth fracture, which might, in turn, produce severe pain. Hence always go for crowns to protect your root canal-treated teeth.

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How to manage throbbing pain after root canal?

If you suffer from severe throbbing pain after root canal the best way to manage is as follows:

  • Contact your dentist immediately
  • Get your dentist’s opinion
  • If possible, get an X-ray of your teeth for a better diagnosis.
  • Suppose your dentist opts for teeth removal; better not to argue with him. However, sometimes accepting his opinion might be the best option available as all treatments may not be 100% successful.
  • According to a study, the cumulative success rate of root canals is around 83% for less damaged teeth and 79% for severely damaged teeth.
  • A Re-root canal might not be the best option in all cases. According to a study, the success rate of the Re-root canal might range between 76% to 77%, which is lower than the regular root canal.


Throbbing pain after root canal is difficult to handle. Hope the present article might provide you an insight and help you in finding answers. If you like the post do share it with your friends.

Dr. Kiran

1 thought on “Throbbing pain after root canal. What to expect?”

  1. Pingback: Root canal treatment. everything you need to know | DENTA DIGEST

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