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Why Would a Patient Have a Headache after Root Canal?

Do you have a sweet tooth? Cakes, brownies, candy, sodas, and chocolates are on everyone’s cheat list, but unfortunately, it leaves us at the risk of dental problems. The bacteria in the mouth thrive when you consume sugar, breaking the teeth enamel. It creates holes inside the teeth – cavities. Since they don’t hurt, people refuse to pay attention to it. However, if the gap gets large, it can affect the nerves and cause tooth fractures, calling for root canal treatment.

It holds the bag for eliminating bacteria from the infected tooth and save the natural tooth. The root canal treatment discards the infected pulp and clean the tooth, then seals it permanently to avoid infection again. The procedure starts by taking an X-ray of the root canals to determine if there are potential signs of infection. Local Anesthesia injects and numb the area and make the patient feel relaxed.

Dentists would drill an access hole in the tooth to remove the infected pulp. Many people complain of discomfort, throbbing pain and headaches after the root canal. In severe cases, headaches can turn into migraines as well. If you are wondering why? Have a look below. Here are some of the causes of headaches after the root canal.

Causes of Headache After Root Canal Treatment

These headaches can be excruciating and may result in sleepless nights. Some people experience tooth pain months after the root canal, which is not normal. Understand the following causes and determine if your pain is normal or you should seek help. Many people experience a mild to moderate headache after the root canal treatment, but can’t understand the connection between them.

  • Swollen or Inflamed Tissue: After the dentist removes the nerve root, there are still small nerves in the ligaments and tissues. When this area swells, these nerves register discomfort, pain, and acute headaches.
  • Vertical Cracks in the Tooth: If the dentist drills the hole deep down the teeth, it can lead to a tooth fracture. It often goes unnoticed until you witness intense jaw pain after the root canal and rising severity of headaches. You have to keep a check on surrounding gums and bones to detect the tooth fracture.
  • Restoration Leakages: After removing the infected pulp, the dentist seals the teeth. In some cases, the cavity walls, resulting in leakages. The root canal tooth hurts with pressure and causes pulp irritation. If you also notice the color changing and severe headaches, head over to the dentist to fix the restoration process.
  • Instrument Damage: The injection after root canal hurts like anything, but the pain goes away after some time. However, if it doesn’t, then there are high chances of a surrounding tissue getting damaged.
  • Poor Oral or Dental Hygiene: Dentists will make every effort to remove plaque, debris, and bacteria from your mouth, but many people fail to ensure oral hygiene. The accumulation of bacteria around the tooth causes pain and severe headaches after the root canal.
  • High Temporary Filling: Sometimes, the dental filling is not smooth enough or higher than the surrounding tooth. Unfortunately, it leaves you at the risk of sinus headaches after the root canal.

What is the Link of the Root Canal Treatment & Headaches?

Root canal headaches happen due to imperfect root canal treatment or a new infection making its way into the root canal. Within a few days, the infection spreads into the mouth, causing uncontrollable pain. You witness tooth pain after root canal when biting, chewing, and drinking since nerves are sensitive.

The increasing pain intensity with time can be a budding root canal headache. The nerves in the jaw connect with the nervous system that sends receptors to the brain. Alongside this, the persistent discomfort in eating and drinking also causes headaches often. As for the treatment, you can head to the dentist to clean the teeth and remove bacteria.

Otherwise, you can treat headaches with antibiotics as they can kill inflammation and pain, eliminating the need for another root canal. Remember, these headaches after root canal are uncommon and only occur when the root canal treatment goes wrong. Therefore, don’t delay your appointment and seek help immediately to protect your teeth and mouth from further damage.

FAQ – Commonly Asked Questions

  1. Can root canals cause headaches?

Root canal treatment causes pain inside the mouth and acute headaches. Severe headaches only occur if the procedure goes wrong or bacteria remains in the mouth.

  1. Can dental work cause headaches?

Cavities and infection can trigger headaches as a muscle strain builds up in the jaw. Likewise, if the dentist has been negligent with the treatment, the chances of headaches are higher.

  1. What are the symptoms of a failed root canal?

People face the following problems after a failed root canal procedure,

  • Teeth sensitivity and tenderness to outright pain
  • Swelling in the adjacent tooth and gums
  • Thermal Sensitivity
  • Vertical cracks or tooth fracture
  1. How long does it take to recover from a root canal?

Usually, the sensitivity and pain go away in 10-15 days but might take longer in a few cases. If the pain’s intensity doesn’t decrease with time, consider having a follow-up appointment with the dentist. They will ensure your teeth are not at risk of another infection.

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