Help! The Pain Won’t Go Away!

Here is a not uncommon situation that happens to patients with toothaches all the time. You have a toothache so you book an appointment and get a filling or root canal treatment done, and when the anaesthetic wears off, slowly but surely, you are aware of pain again. It seems that the treatment was a miserable failure, for why else would you have gotten an emergency appointment but to get rid of the pain?

Not so fast. Residual tooth pain is a real and existing phenomenon, and it does not necessarily mean the initial dental treatment was unsuccessful. It simply means you have had some bad luck, and although usually nothing is to be done and everything is fine, it should be some cause for concern, and if nothing else, you should always book another appointment to your dentist, just to make sure that everything is okay, and to get a  prescription for pain medication. So without further ado, here is a list of what may be causing your residual toothache:

Flare effect

Sometimes the when the nerves are hurt, there will be residual pain from the nerve being damaged or just inflamed and over used. It may be transmitting pain messages to your brain even though there is nothing that may hurt. Indeed, the nerves may even be transmitting these signals as adjacent teeth hurting. This will subside in a few hours, a few days at maximum, and can be easily dealt with using pain medication.

Filling too big

If the filling is too big, it may cause some pain as it may be pressing on the nerve. The filling may become smaller over time, as it will be shaved down from the occlusal forces of eating and chewing. But usually you will need to go back for an appointment and get the filling adjusted. It is easy to file off little slivers of a composite white filling, so this procedure is usually offered for free and takes about 10 minutes.

Tooth too thin

You may be left with not enough tooth material to protect the nerve, especially after a root canal treatment. If the dental nerve is too close to the surface, it will send pain signals to the brain. In these cases you need to go back to the dentist, as the pain will not stop until something is done to cover up the nerve. You may have to get a crown, or to deaden the nerve.

Residual pain

After a root canal treatment it is normal to be in pain for a day or two. Do not be alarmed, this is just part of the healing process, and as you had a root canal, you will be back soon enough, and should take pain medication in the meanwhile. Some swelling is also to be expected, so do not be alarmed.   

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