Getting a root canal can be nerve-wracking (no pun intended). The relaxation, of course, makes up for all the suffering. But, unfortunately, that's generally the case as well. People who usually get root canal treatment already suffer a long ordeal of pain following an infected dental pulp. But sometimes, the opposite is true. Instead of feeling better after removing their dental pulp, some people might experience signs of infection post-root canal, like a fever. But is getting a fever after a root canal normal?

Fevers usually happen when there's a bacterial infection of some sort. When bacteria, viruses, and other foreign bodies enter your body, your immune system releases chemicals that signal more white blood cells to fend off the invaders. Unfortunately, the same chemicals—pyrogens— signal the brain to raise your body temperature. Some strains of bacteria and viruses are heat-sensitive, and at a specific temperature, they start to disappear.

Pain Diagnosis And Treatment

Fractured or cracked teeth, toothaches, and other oral pains can be complex to detect. Due to the vast network of nerves in the mouth, one might feel a tooth's discomfort with impairment or deterioration in another tooth, ear, neck, or head. If you have any of these symptoms or a traumatic injury leading to root and nerve damage, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist.

Before Treatment: Don't smoke or consume alcohol at least 12 hours before having an endodontic operation, such as a root canal. Also, avoid eating before your appointment.

At Your Visit: Your endodontist will examine your X-rays and teeth. Afterward, he will administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth. During the treatment, the tooth is isolated, kept clean, and free of saliva by a small sheet of protection known as a dental dam.

The endodontist creates an opening in the tooth's crown and cleanses the inflamed and infected pulp using specialized instruments. Next, the insides of the root canal are shaped and filled using a biocompatible material like a gutta-percha. Finally, the gutta-percha is sealed in space with an adhesive cement to ensure the root canals are sealed. The next appointment will involve placing a crown or other restoration work to restore the tooth's full function.

The root may stop growing if the visit was brought on by trauma, such as when something struck your child's secondary tooth, which is still forming. As a result, an endodontist will consider apexification to stimulate bone formation at the root's tip.

After Your Visit: You might experience tooth sensitivity in the initial days, but this is treatable with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Call your dentist or endodontist if the pain persists for more than a few days or becomes worse. Additionally, wait until your dentist gives the all-clear before smoking or drinking alcohol.

Finally, keep an eye on your diet. After a root canal, refrain from biting or chewing on hard food.

What If I Develop A Fever After My Root Canal?

You shouldn't experience too much pain following a root canal procedure if you receive the appropriate dental care. A fever following a root canal indicates that you may have picked up an infection. But why did you develop that condition in the first place? If you get a fever following root canal therapy, you should be aware of the following.

  • The Bacteria May Have Entered Your Bloodstream

If you experience tooth pain before undergoing a root canal, there is a risk that some bacteria have already entered your system. There is a network of blood vessels and nerves within the dental pulp, which the bacteria infects. If you wait too long, the bodies may enter your bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body through your blood arteries.

The time it takes for your fever to go away can vary depending on the infection. Fortunately, your body will be far better able to fight off the illness once all the contaminated tissue has been removed. However, your dentist may advise you to take some antibiotics in the meantime to aid in your body's healing. In addition, it will assist in stopping future illnesses if you maintain good dental hygiene.

  • It Might Be an Unrelated Issue

When two occurrences coincide, the post hoc fallacy happens. People may believe that one event may result in the other when this occurs. For example, while you might have gotten a fever after root canal treatment, it doesn't necessarily mean that the root canal was what caused it. However, it's hard to tell on your own whether this is the case.

You might need to seek additional medical guidance from your dentist or doctor to determine whether the root canal brings on the symptoms of infection following a root canal. The most significant sign of an unrelated issue is if the area around your tooth canal looks and feels normal while you still have your fever.

  • You Might Have A Post-Operative Infection

As with all operations, your typical root canal treatment has post-operative procedures that help prevent disease and speed up recovery. However, unforeseen circumstances can occasionally result in a relapse of the infection. For example, maybe there was still some dental pulp leftover. Or perhaps your dentist didn't place the crown soon enough. Regardless, if you start getting a fever after your root canal and your tooth still hurts, it's best to call your dentist.

Are There Other Endodontic Treatment Options?

Besides a root canal, there are other endodontic treatments available you can get, especially when a root canal treatment is no longer an option. These treatments include endodontic retreatment, endodontic surgery, and dental implants.

  • Endodontic Retreatment. Endodontic retreatment involves opening the tooth again to remove the filling materials that were first inserted during the initial surgery. If there are any new infections, the endodontist will treat them, shape and clean the root canals, fill the space with fresh filler material, and then cover it with a temporary filling while they wait for the dental repair. The tooth will then be sealed and protected by a new crown or other dental treatment.
  • Endodontic Surgery. This operation eliminates calcium buildup in the root canals, injured root surfaces, and surrounding dental bone.
  • Dental Implants. Getting a dental implant is an additional choice. An artificial tooth root will be implanted into the jawbone during this treatment, finishing it with a dental crown. 

A root canal involves several procedures. An endodontist or dentist will first use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth. The tooth is then kept clean during the process by covering the area with a barrier known as a dental dam. Next, an incision in the tooth's crown is necessary to extract the pulp from the chamber and root canal regions. Next, the root canal is cleaned and temporarily filled with something resembling rubber to prevent the hole's contamination. The endodontist will remove your temporary filling during your subsequent appointment, after which the tooth will be restored with a crown or filling.

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