I had a root canal a few years ago. Now my tooth is killing me again! What is going on? The dentist says that the root canal looks fine. She mentioned a possible crack. Apparently, I was told that if it is cracked I will lose the tooth. Also, she mentioned it could just be due to the fact that I need a new crown. Any advice or information you have would be greatly appreciated. I can’t stand the pain for another minute.
– Rachel in Arkansas,
There are many reasons that a tooth that had a root canal is now troubling you. First, it could be that the crown isn’t properly placed. So if it sitting up too high and is the first thing that hits when you are chewing, this could have irritated it and be causing pain. It may be as simple as the crown requiring adjustment. Has the dentist checked the bite to rule out this possibility?
Another possibility for pain could be that you are grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. You may not even be aware of it. The dentist should be able to notice signs of wear on your other teeth if this is the case.
The crack in the tooth is also a possibility. Although, this is difficult to assess and it may be wise to see an endodontist to diagnose this properly. Endodontists specialize in root canal treatments. And unfortunately if there is a crack in the tooth, it will likely need to be extracted. A dental implant or dental bridge are both options to replace it.
Here are some other possibilities as to why the tooth may be causing you pain:
- Sometimes bacteria can get down into the root if it was not treated and filled properly. This could mean the tooth has once again become infected.
- In some cases, the seal may have wore off or been washed away. This would cause a gap in the root canal, again ending in another infection.
- There could be another canal or multiple canals that weren’t adequately treated.
- If there is a crack or fracture, you could be dealing with an infection.
- The crown may be compromised or was not properly fitted. It may be contaminated.
- A root canal failure may be the result if the tooth wasn’t sufficiently cleaned or if the root canal simply wasn’t performed properly.
Sorry for all that information, but as you can see there are many possibilities as to why you are in pain. It would be good to have your bite checked if it hasn’t been done already. Otherwise, it would be a good idea to see an endodontist to see what the next action should be to take care of the tooth once and for all. If the pain is intolerable or keeping you up at night, this should be considered a dental emergency and you should try to get in as soon as possible to relieve your pain.
This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.