8 doctors weighed in:

Why do I feel discomfort after root canal therapy if the nerve is gone?

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Danny Proffitt
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Phantom pain

When nerves are injured there is sometime a condition where there is "memory" and if the nerve is gone, the rest of the nervous system remembers the nerve and there is the sensation of pain.
This is a complex and poorly understood conditon. It happens with loss of limb as well. It also could be inflammation in the root canal itself. Discuss with your dentist or endodontist.

In brief: Phantom pain

When nerves are injured there is sometime a condition where there is "memory" and if the nerve is gone, the rest of the nervous system remembers the nerve and there is the sensation of pain.
This is a complex and poorly understood conditon. It happens with loss of limb as well. It also could be inflammation in the root canal itself. Discuss with your dentist or endodontist.
Dr. Danny Proffitt
Dr. Danny Proffitt
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1 comment
Dr. Andrew Vendelis
Also, there is a membrane surrounding the root. This membrane very often becomes inflamed as a result of the infection and during the treatment. After the root canal is completed the bite is adjusted to relieve the pressure on the membrane and allow it to heal.
Dr. Jake Richards
Dentistry
2 doctors agree

In brief: Periodontal Tissues

Yes the nerve in the tooth is gone, but the pain comes from the bone and gingival tissues which are still very much alive and have sensation.
Biting pain is the most common and that has nothing to do with the nerve in (was in) the tooth.

In brief: Periodontal Tissues

Yes the nerve in the tooth is gone, but the pain comes from the bone and gingival tissues which are still very much alive and have sensation.
Biting pain is the most common and that has nothing to do with the nerve in (was in) the tooth.
Dr. Jake Richards
Dr. Jake Richards
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Dr. Harvey Shiffman
Dentistry - Cosmetic

In brief: Micro trauma

If the tooth area was inflamed before the treatment and the treatment was extensive or complicated, it is possible that the gum or ligament of the tooth can be inflamed and need several days to calm down.
Bite adjustment may be necessary, speak to your treating dentist.

In brief: Micro trauma

If the tooth area was inflamed before the treatment and the treatment was extensive or complicated, it is possible that the gum or ligament of the tooth can be inflamed and need several days to calm down.
Bite adjustment may be necessary, speak to your treating dentist.
Dr. Harvey Shiffman
Dr. Harvey Shiffman
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Dr. Robert Ryan
Dentistry

In brief: Possible infection

Root canal therapy is necessitated by the death of the nerve inside the tooth.
This is often caused by bacteria in the nerve...An infection. Often, this infection migrates to the opening at the tip of the root and from there into the bone outside of the root. This infection can persist for awhile after the root canal procedure is completed. It is often accompanied by pain and swelling.

In brief: Possible infection

Root canal therapy is necessitated by the death of the nerve inside the tooth.
This is often caused by bacteria in the nerve...An infection. Often, this infection migrates to the opening at the tip of the root and from there into the bone outside of the root. This infection can persist for awhile after the root canal procedure is completed. It is often accompanied by pain and swelling.
Dr. Robert Ryan
Dr. Robert Ryan
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