Last year I had a root canal done on tooth #14. The tooth has a post and cap. Every now and then the tooth would flare up, and I would associate the pain with a gum issue between #14 and #15. I would take some antbiotics and it would go away. This is the third time the tooth has flared up in the past year! But this time it's different. I have throbbing pain on tooth #14 when I eat or drink hot and cold. The endodontist says it's IMPOSSIBLE to feel sensitive to hot and cold when I had a root canal and says the pain MUST be coming from a tooth on the bottom with a cavity. I told him that I am not stupid, I can feel the top tooth THROBBING after hot and cold foods or drinks. I have viewed my x-ray and I know that 3 canals were cleaned out. Is it possible that there could be a 4th canal? If so, why haven't I felt the sensitivity before? I am worried that I will waste 700$ on a tooth that I might have to pull out after all. Is it possible for a root canaled tooth to get infected again? Or could my problem be a periodontal issue? If it is would I be feeling hot and cold sensitivity? By the way, my x-ray shows no sign of infection even though I have pain, throbbing, and headaches only on that side of my head. I am currently taking amoxicillin, motrin 800 mg, and using peridex mouthwash. All of which is not much help. Thank you so much for your help, I will appreciate an answer of any kind.

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  • Dr.Ritz

    Dr.Ritz 24 - August - 2011, at 00:26 AM

  • The pain could be there because of gum problem in that area, referred pain from some other tooth or it can be there if there is some infection present in the root canal treated tooth. The upper molars usually have 3 canals but there can be 4canals in some people. If the root canal is not done properly, then also it can lead to pain and infection in the tooth later on. The pain can also be there if there is gum infection present around that tooth. If the pain is because of gum infection, then you have to maintain a good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. You can use an interdental brush in the area of capping. Warm saline rinse will reduce the swelling around the gums.  You might be experiencing referred pain due to the decayed lower tooth or could be there due to eruption of wisdom tooth of that side. Without clinical examination, it is difficult to give definite diagnosis. You have to consult your dentist for this. You can take an opinion of second dentist if you want.  It is possible that the pain might be due to infection in the root canal treated tooth. Even if there is infection in that tooth, you don’t need to necessarily pull that out. You can go for re-root canal treatment and save that tooth. To know more about root canal retreatment, you can refer to the following article…

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