Toothache after treatment at the dentist?

Toothache after treatment

Possible causes of toothache after treatment

Teeth and gum pain (toothache after treatment) are important warning signs of a disease or injury that needs treatment. The symptoms often disappear completely when the dentist z. B. removes existing caries and provides the tooth with a filling or with dentures (such as a crown).

So that the preparation of the tooth does not cause pain to the patient. Thus, a topical anesthetic usually injects up into the surrounding gums, the effect of which wears off completely after a few hours.

Temporary pain right after treatment is often harmless

If pain occurs immediately after the anesthetic has subsided, it is usually a reaction to the procedure and usually disappears after a day at the latest. The puncture site of the syringe can also be painful. Because the anesthetic put to the soft tissue with pressure and can cause pressure pain, which, however, also disappears quickly.

However, if the pain persists for a longer period of time or even intensifies, it is advisable to visit the dentist again to clarify the cause and, if necessary, to take countermeasures.

Toothache after filling therapy

If tooth decay has slain part of the tooth structure, this part must be completely take off and put back with a suitable filling. However, especially with deep-seated caries or carious lesions in the area between the teeth, it cannot be ruled out that not everything is discovered and removed. A filling can then trigger and intensify toothache after treatment.

And even if the tooth decay has been completely removed, a deep filling can irritate the tooth nerve and cause toothache after treatment.


Those affected should therefore not hesitate to inform their treating dentist about the toothache. He can – z. B. by an X-ray of the affected tooth – determine more precisely what causes the pain and react accordingly.

For example, if the tooth nerve irritates, the filling removes and an antibiotic is put in the tooth before the cavity closes again. This can already help to contain the onset of inflammation and ensure lasting freedom from pain.

Root canal treatment as a cause of toothache

Treatment of the root canal is always necessary if the tooth nerve is blitz or completely inert (pulpitis). The dentist then opens the tooth with a drill and exposes the root canal system. Then the tooth nerve and possible bacterial deposits inside are take-offs mechanically. So, the root canals should wash out with an antibiotic and the cavities are then barring with a suitable filler.

Such a root filling can cause pressure pain, especially in the first few days after the treatment, as the filling and treatment can irritate and sensitize the surrounding nerve tissue in the gums. Swellings like the classic “big cheek” can also occur.

However, the symptoms usually go away on their own after a few days. If they persist for more than a week or intensify significantly, the dentist should be contacted immediately.

To relieve pain after a root canal treatment, either the entire tooth or just the tip of the root can be removed. Understandably, many patients prefer apicectomy to complete tooth extraction, as at least initially no tooth gap has shut by a bridge or an implant. To do this, the dentist painlessly opens the gums and jawbones for the patient under local anesthesia and mills the inflamed root tip (s) with the drill. This shortens the tooth root, but the tooth has a real chance of survival for at least a few years and is usually completely painless after the bone injury has healed.

Allergic pain reactions

In rare cases, the filling materials introduced can trigger an allergic reaction in the patient, which then causes toothache after treatment. Contact allergies are rare today, as holes are rarely fill up with amalgam but rather with biocompatible plastic, but allergic reactions cannot completely forestall. In such a case, the only thing left to do is to remove the filling and seal the cavity with another filling material or to restore the tooth with an inlay or inlay made of ceramic or gold.

Gums can also cause toothache

Caries do not always have to be the cause of painful teeth; the soft tissue can also become inflamed and cause pain. Older patients in particular suffer more frequently from periodontitis, which if left untreated not only becomes increasingly painful but can also result in the loss of healthy teeth.

Because if the gingivitis is not serving professionally, the gums can increasingly retreat and thus expose the neck of the tooth. This not only increases the risk of cervical caries but also increases the sensitivity of the teeth to pain, as the tooth necks are not nearby a protective layer of enamel.

Periodontitis treatment at an early stage can serve well to keep the gums permanently healthy. But the patient must also improve and intensify his oral hygiene. The first important warning signal is blood on the toothbrush, so anyone who spits reddish foam into the sink after brushing their teeth should make an appointment with the dentist and have the causes clarified. Because even if gingivitis is often painless at first, it can cause significant pain in the advanced stage but is then much more complicated to treat and heal.

What helps against toothache after treatment?

In any case, the attending dentist should visit and the problem should discuss together. Based on the specific situation, he can decide whether a new filling of the tooth is necessary (if necessary with a different filling material) or whether a dental prosthesis is used instead, which, however, usually requires a renewed preparation of the tooth and causes additional costs.

Taking painkillers with paracetamol or ibuprofen helps against acute pain that has no apparent cause. Patients should ask their dentist for a suitable preparation immediately after the treatment and do not hesitate to actually take it the first time they experience a toothache, as this also prevents the painful memory from imprinting the toothache.

In the case of swellings that occur after a root canal treatment, the affected area should also be cooled from the outside. A cold compress or a damp washcloth that has cooled down in the refrigerator can relieve pressure pain and help reduce the swelling more quickly. However, an intense cold stimulus can also aggravate toothache, especially with deep-seated fillings, the sensitive tooth nerve can be additionally irritated.

Tried and tested home remedies such as chamomile or peppermint tea, with which the affected areas are carefully rinsed, are much safer. Clove or tea tree oil has an anesthetic and disinfectant effect and can relieve pain, but should only be used in diluted form. If these home remedies do not help, you can also use a suitable pain reliever, but if the pain persists or worsens, an appointment with the dentist should be made and kept at short notice.


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