Sensitive devitalized tooth: how to get better ?

dent dévitalisée sensible

If you are here, it is because you have a sensitive root canal. Indeed, it is normal to have a sensitive devitalized tooth when you press on it after having had a devitalization at your dental surgeon. It can last about 8 days maximum. However, it is not abnormal to have pain that lasts for several months. There are two reasons for this: either your tooth is broken or there are canals that were not treated during the root canal treatment.

Here is a guide that will help you understand the reasons for your pain as well as the different solutions to get better.

What is a sensitive root canal ?

A root canal usually takes a few days to become asymptomatic. It usually takes about three to five days for the pain to go away completely. However, some teeth can remain sensitive for up to six months. That is to say that some days, you will feel a more or less diffuse pain in the area that is healing.

The different complications related to a root canal ?

Dental abscess

A devitalized tooth is a dead tooth and is therefore more fragile than the other teeth. In other words, it is more prone to infection if the treatment is not carried out effectively. In this case and if not treated, the infection can turn into a dental abscess and spread to the rest of your body, which will have an impact on your health.

The dental cyst


The dental cyst is a soft envelope filled with liquid. It appears as a tumor that appears in the jaw at the level of the devitalized tooth. It must be removed even if it is benign and does not lead to cancer. The symptoms that allow the diagnosis of a dental cyst are: a strong pain but also an unusual bad breath.

Tooth decay


A devitalized tooth can present a tooth decay, exactly the same as a living tooth. However, since the nerve of the tooth was removed during the root canal, the tooth is not painful at first. If the cavity is not treated, the bacteria from the cavity will spread beyond the tooth and can lead to a dental abscess.

Good oral habits after root canal therapy

It is important not to move your tooth too much after a temporary filling since it is particularly sensitive. Good oral habits will allow you to feel the fragility of your devitalized tooth less and gradually stop feeling pain. Good oral hygiene reduces the risk of periodontal disease. 

Here is a small list of all the good oral habits to adopt:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes.
  • Opt for gentle brushing with an electric toothbrush to quickly relieve tooth sensitivity.
  • Floss instead of using interdental brushes
  • Use mouthwash three times a day after brushing your teeth.
  • Have your teeth scaled at your dentist at least once a year.
  • Make an appointment for x-rays of your tooth to monitor the healing of the bone and to make sure the tooth doesn't become infected again.

You can use the Y-Brush sonic electric toothbrush to gently brush your teeth. Indeed, it offers several modes of sonic vibrations according to your dental sensitivity which is very practical when you have a lot of toothache. You can choose the "soft" mode. 

Remedies to relieve the pain of a sensitive root canal

Peppermint infusion

Peppermint has a disinfectant and analgesic action. It anesthetizes the oral mucosa.

Here is the recipe for peppermint infusion:

  • Take one or two branches of peppermint
  • Dry them upside down in an airy and dry place for several days.
  • Place them in the oven at 140° for an hour.
  • Heat the water until it boils
  • Detach the mint leaves from the branches
  • Add the dried leaves to the boiling water
  • Leave to infuse for about ten minutes
  • Then proceed to the filtration
  • Taste your infusion

Cucumber

The photochemical substances contained in this vegetable eliminate the pathogenic bacteria responsible for the appearance of pain. Place a slice on the painful tooth to relieve it. If you are not sensitive to cold, place it in the refrigerator before using it, as the cold has an anaesthetic effect that will help to reduce the pain. In addition, regular gargling with cucumber juice also helps to cleanse the gums and strengthen tooth enamel.

Red onion


This condiment is very popular in the kitchen because of its taste, which goes perfectly with many dishes and recipes, but also because of its many health benefits. It is an effective remedy for dental pain. Simply cut a slice, bite it to extract the juice and keep it on the painful tooth for about fifteen minutes. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of onions eliminate pathogenic bacteria and reduce inflammation, thus relieving pain.

Black tea


Tea is known for its many virtues. Chinese medicine has been using it for thousands of years, especially for pain relief, with an antiseptic and antibacterial effect. The astringent tannins in black tea are particularly effective against swelling and pain. However, excessive consumption can lead to staining of the teeth. Apply a tea bag to the affected tooth. If you don't have a tea bag, prepare a well-concentrated tea and moisten a cotton ball before applying it to the tooth.

Prescription drugs for sensitive root canal

Ibuprofen

This medication is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It fights pain and lowers fever. Its anti-inflammatory properties are seen in high doses. It is the anti-inflammatory that works best on post-dental pain. It is to be used only to remedy a short term pain.

Surgam


It is a medication that contains tiaprofenic acid which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It helps fight inflammation and pain, lowers fever and thins the blood. It is sold on medical prescription at a price between 1.49 € and 1.88 € depending on the pharmacy. For adults, the recommended dose is 3 to 6 tablets per day.

Nifluril


It is also a drug that contains tiaprofenic acid which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. It fights inflammation and pain, lowers fever and thins the blood. For adults, the recommended dose is 1 capsule 3 or 4 times a day with a large glass of water or 1 suppository at 700 mg, morning and evening.

An alternative to root canal therapy: endodontics

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is a dental treatment practice that consists of treating pulp and root canal damage, also known as root canal treatment. The pulp damage can be caused by a cavity, but it can also come from the apex by a periodontal lesion or even from the bone around the dental root. It is performed in dental offices as a matter of routine.

Who is this type of dental treatment for?


Endodontic treatment is a solution that allows the preservation of the tooth when conventional treatments have not been effective. The alternative is to extract the tooth and then place a bridge or an implant. Endodontic treatment is also the most economical solution. 

The indication for endodontic treatment is mainly pulp inflammation or pulpitis. It is the result of a persistent infection in the root canal. The pulp may still be alive but sometimes the treatment is performed on a necrotic pulp.

We hope this guide has helped you understand what a sensitive root canal tooth is and why you may have a root canal tooth that hurts more than it should. However, don't panic because adopting good oral habits, taking effective pain relief remedies and using prescription medications are the solutions to getting better. If you don't want to go through root canal therapy, you should consider endodontics.

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