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Can root canals cause jaw pain?

 Are you one of the 30 to 40 million Americans who avoid going to the dentist out of fear?

There are plenty of people who are so afraid of going to the dentist that they’ll endure pain and discomfort that they could completely avoid. In particular, a root canal is one procedure that people tend to fear the most. It’s often used as shorthand for an unpleasant experience, and one that’s better off avoided.

But is it really that bad?

The fact of the matter is that root canals not only don’t give you jaw pain, they actually alleviate it. Root canals are aimed at reducing or eliminating factors that cause jaw pain. They involve removing the source of many aches and pains in the mouth. And if you’re putting off getting one, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Why does my jaw hurt?

One of the biggest causes of jaw pain is an abscess or infection, and these are directly linked to the damaged teeth that can be treated with a root canal. Damaged teeth with deep cavities or cracks that go into the dental pulp allow outside bacteria to get in, and these bacteria cause infections that can go down all the way into the jaw.

These infections and abscesses cause pain, and if left untreated can cause severe side effects. Even if the abscess ruptures and the pain eases, it still needs to be treated. An untreated abscess can spread along the jawline, and in severe cases it can turn into sepsis—a life-threatening infection that can spread through your body.

When you go to the dentist for a root canal, you’re relieving the cause of the pain or stopping it before it happens. If you get the tooth treated early enough, you can avoid abscesses or infections entirely.

How do you get rid of a jaw infection?

If you’re dealing with jaw pain, it’s time to go to the dentist. If you wind up having to have a root canal, the only pain you should be dealing with afterwards is a few days of mild soreness that should be easily dealt with via over-the-counter pain medication. Occasionally you might need an ice pack, but even that is rare. It’s nothing compared to the pain of dental infections and abscesses that can arise from putting off a root canal.

If you’ve been worrying about the pain that comes with a root canal, don’t. You’ll be healthier and free of pain if you go get it done. If you’re dealing with dental pain or it’s been a while since you’ve had a checkup, give us a call. We’ll help you keep your teeth in top condition.

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