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Does a Tooth with No Root Still Hurt?

Posted on 3/13/2017 by Dr. Hallas
An elderly woman receiving a root canal.
Severe tooth pain often points to an infection inside. A root canal is often the treatment of choice. This procedure removes the inflamed pulp, the infection and the nerve of the tooth.

After the interior is cleaned and disinfected, it is filled and capped with a crown, meant to strengthen the original tooth and protect it from bacteria. Even without the nerve it is still possible to feel pain.

It's a common belief that now that the nerve of the tooth is gone, you will no longer experience pain in the tooth. While you will no longer experience temperature sensitivity in the tooth, it is still possible to feel pain. In the days following your root canal, the tissues surrounding the affected tooth will be tender, and can therefore lead to pain.

Issues with the Root Canal

Pain should subside as you recover from your procedure. Feeling pain in the tooth later, after you have healed, indicates a problem. It is possible for the tooth to become infected a second time, and pain could be an indication of that.

The tooth can become infected again for one of many different reasons:

•  The infection wasn't completely cleaned out the first time.
•  Damage to the crown.
•  Damage to the actual tooth.
•  The crown was placed improperly.

Whatever the reason for your root canal failure, you should have it addressed immediately by your dentist.

Preventing Infection

A root canal should be cared for just like the rest of your natural teeth. While the crown cannot experience decay, it can still collect plaque and the bacteria responsible for gum disease. Make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss every day, including around the crown.

Regular visits to your dentist will help to keep your teeth and the crown clean and catch any early signs, such as cracks to the crown or inflammation of gum tissue, that could otherwise cause a problem later on.

Pain is an indication that something is wrong. If you experience pain around a tooth that has previously undergone a root canal treatment, contact our office immediately.

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