Pain after Root Canal:  What to Expect


People hear the words “Root Canal” and they immediately tense their bodies.  They expect pain and discomfort.  But is this true? Should we expect pain after Root Canal?  This short article will describe what you should expect.


After a root canal, you will have discomfort.  After all, you just had the equivalent of a broken arm repaired.  It will be tender and sore.  The pain may be a dull ache or it may be fairly strong for the first 24-48 hours.  Your body is starting up the repair process by sending in the cleanup and reconstruction crew.  White blood cell cleanup teams move into the broken area.  Food and oxygen are supplied to the area to support healing.  This pain after root canal is normal.  Try to get some rest.  Drink plenty of fluids.  Take pain medications, antibiotics, and vitamins/minerals to supply the recovery.


You will have some swelling.  Remember that your tooth was so infected that the nerve of your tooth was invaded, attacked, and destroyed.  This triggers your body’s immune system to counterattack the invasion.  Fluids pour in with lymphatic powers.  This causes swelling.  On top of that, your Dentist worked on your tooth with drills and needles and files and pressure.  This doubles down on your already existing swelling. Some swelling is normal after a root canal procedure.  Rest, pain medications, and antibiotics will work with time.


After your root canal procedure, it is normal to have pain after root canal in the form of tooth tenderness.  Your tooth is repaired and now has to recover.  You may experience pain and tenderness of the tooth, the tooth and surrounding gums, or the entire jaw on that side.  You may experience pain after root canal when you bite your teeth together.  Keep in mind that the infection and treatment of your root canal tooth creates swelling, inflammation, bruising, and pain.  These symptoms are temporary and will subside over time. 

Pain after root canal is normal.  The main thing to bear in mind is that pain after root canal should improve a little bit each day.  Most of the pain after root canal subsides within a few days but lingering pain can last up to a year following your root canal treatment.

Related Article: 5 Tips when having pain after root canal treatment

As always, if you have a concern that your recovery is not proceeding as it should, do not hesitate to call your Dentist’s office immediately.

At Thomas L. Anderson and Associates, we focus on alieving any pain our patients may be experiencing as quickly as possible. Accidents and dental emergencies can arise, but our four gentle dentists and expert dental team do their best to keep all of our patients out of pain!! Please schedule an appointment at one of our three conveniently located offices for your dental exam and cleaning, to get you out of pain or anything in between!

Root canal symptoms vary, read more about them here.