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Why Do You Have Gum Pain After A Root Canal, And What To Do?

A root canal is a procedure that involves deep cleaning of every channel in the teeth. Therefore, you might experience some pains during and even after the procedure.

However, the pain isn’t meant to last forever and should relieve you after a while.

If your gum pain persists a long time after your root canal, then some extra measures have to be taken.

But before we go into the methods of relieving gum pains, what exactly can we say the feeling entails?

Pains After A Root Canal; What Does It Entail?

A root canal, also often referred to as endodontic therapy, and root canal therapy is a treatment that is recommended to individuals with inflammation and infections inside their tooth.

It is a procedure used to treat the infected pulp of the tooth. It usually involves the protection of the part of the tooth that is already contaminated from further damage.

The primary aim of a root canal is to help repair damages and save some already severely damaged parts of the teeth instead of removing them.

The procedure is done to remove the soft centers of the tooth, which is known as the pulp when damaged.

This part of the tooth comprises connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerves needed for the tooth to grow.

Several factors like: can cause damages to the pulp of the tooth

  • Decay
  • Multiple dental procedures were carried out on the same tooth.
  • A crack in the tooth.
  • Injury to the tooth.

The root canal procedure is usually performed in a dental office after a scheduled appointment.

Some numbing medications like anesthesia will be used on the gum closest to the tooth being worked on.

This is major to help the patients feel less pain while the procedure is going on. When the tooth is numb, the pulp can then be removed through the proper process.

After removing the pulp, the area will be coated with a topical antibiotic to prevent infection.

The tooth is filled and sealed correctly, and oral antibiotics may also be prescribed.

Typically, after the procedure, the tooth will feel numb and sore until the medications wear off.

Regular follow-ups will be done for a few weeks after the process to ensure no further complications. 

Why Is My Gum Pain Not Healing After The Root Canal?

In most cases, discomforts from the root canal should go away after a few days of the procedure, but it is not unusual if you still experience aches after a while.

There are cases when gum pains refuse to heal after a root canal.

That is one of the primary reasons the dentists give room for follow-up after the procedure has already been done.

When people complain of gum pains after their root canals, then the possible reasons could be any of the following listed below;

Tissues Around The Gums Are Still Inflamed

Your dentist might have the nerve root from the tooth, but there can still be nerves present in the tissues and ligaments surrounding the area.

If this is the case, you may experience pains in the affected area, as these nerve endings will also cause constant pains.

High Temporary Filling

During the process of filling, it is possible that the tooth will not get filled correctly.

Typically, the feeling should not be higher than the surrounding tooth, and if it happens, the affected person will feel some pain.

Complications During The Procedure

If your pains persist after your procedure, then it could be that something went wrong in between.

There are situations when more damage gets done to the tooth by trying a dentist during the root canal.


Although one of the procedures involved in the root canal has to do with coating the affected areas with antibiotics to prevent infections.

There have been cases where people still get infections even after the use of antibiotics if not adequately disinfected.

Individuals who fall into such a category might experience gum pains after their root canal.

The infected root canal will cause acute pain and discomfort to the gums and surrounding areas.

How Long Does It take For Gum Pain To Heal After A Root Canal?

Your root canal is usually supposed to cause some gum pains a few days after. However, this is entirely temporary, as the pain will subside as the days go by.

At most, after three days, stop experiencing gum pains after your root canal. Persisting pain after that might be a sign of more complications.

Such difficulties are listed above, like infection, a high temporary filling, inflamed gums, and some unexpected complications during the procedure.

Sensitivity around the tooth is considered a natural phenomenon after a root canal, but according to health experts, your gum pains should only be within 3 to 5 days.

During this period, pain relief medications can reduce or numb the pain until it heals properly.

And it is also advised that proper oral hygiene should be practiced to prevent further infection.

How To Know If Your Gum Pain Is Infected After A Root Canal

Your gum pains can get infected even after your root canal. How would you know if your gum pain is infected after a root canal?

Some common signs and symptoms that your root canal is infected includes:

Extreme Pain And Discomfort

When your gums ache, it’s enough indication that your gums are infected, and you probably need to pay another visit to your doctor.

Pus Discharge

Sometimes, it ends not only with the pain. You might experience pus discharge from your gum. That’s also a sign that your root canal is infected.

The discharge could be greenish, yellowish, or somewhat discolored.

Red, Warm And Swollen Tissue

The swelling in the tooth can also affect the surrounding tissues.

The gums under the tooth, and also the ones surrounding the affected tooth, can get involved. Chewing will get complicated, the mouth and face can also get swollen.

Bad Taste And Bad Breath

The damage to the gum and infected tissue can cause a nasty, sour, or unusual taste in your mouth, which would later be accompanied by bad breath.

Tenderness Or Discomfort In Swollen Tissues

When you touch the affected area or apply pressure, you might feel some tenderness and discomfort in the area.

This is a result of swollen tissues from the infection.

How To Treat Gum Pain After Root Canal

However unpleasant your toothache is, it can always be treated.

Before we get to that, though, let’s talk about preventive measures that could be taken to ensure that your gum pains do not persist.

Dental Hygiene

To prevent root canal problems, one of the most effective measures a person can take is to have healthy dental hygiene.

The purpose of this is to prevent infections, damages, and other tooth problems that could occur.

To maintain proper oral hygiene, the following are some helpful tips that would come in handy.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss with fluoride at least twice a day
  • Visit your dentist for a regular check-up, and clean your teeth with a professional dentist at least twice a year.
  • Limit the number of sugary foods you consume

Now, treating your gum pains would require the following steps:

Use Of Medications

There are over-the-counter medications that can alleviate your gum pains after a root canal.

Ensure that you use them according to the prescription from your dentist and also read the instructions written on the drugs before use.

Avoid Chewing Down On The Tooth

Until the tooth has healed entirely and is in the best state possible, avoid biting down on them.

The temporary filling is usually delicate. Biting down on it might cause them to break.

Revisit Your Dentist

Home remedies are not enough to take away the pain, as they can only be preventive measures for avoiding root canal problems.

The procedure might have to be done again in order to make necessary corrections.

Also, if what you would need are medications, then your dentist will tell you which one will work for your gum pains.

If the cause of the pain results from a missed canal, that means the dentist will have to open up the tooth, remove the current filling and try to locate the canal.

Take away

Whatever you do, always ensure that you practice good oral hygiene. In every situation, that is the only way to have a healthy tooth.

Brushing and flossing with fluoride toothpaste are some common ways to do that.

However, if your root canal still continues, pay a visit to your dentist to know the next line of action.


Health line: Root canal

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