Regular visits to the dentist are essential for a healthy, beautiful smile. But as they say, beauty is not without pain, and achieving that perfect smile is often accompanied by short-term discomfort. Even regular dental cleaning can cause mouth tenderness, not to mention procedures like wisdom tooth extraction, root canal, or fillings that take a certain time to heal. However, such discomfort should not stop you from regular dental visits, as doing so can damage your dental health and even snowball into a bigger problem.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Dentist:
Choosing the right doctor can save you from all the trouble and make the process much more comfortable. But it’s hard to figure out who to go to, especially if you are from a big city like Nashville, Boston, LA… you get the point? Figuring out the right expert among the hundreds in your area alone can be challenging. But still, the best way to avoid complications is to choose a credible expert. No matter where you’re from, look up the best dental clinics in your area and check their credibility before getting the procedure done. For example, if you’re from Nashville, you should only book a Wisdom teeth removal expert in Nashville after checking out their testimonials. The right doctor and dental facility will ensure your comfort before, during, and after the procedure.
Why do you feel discomfort after a dental procedure?
Some discomfort after a dental appointment is expected since the soft mouth tissues can irritate with drilling or scaling. On a positive note, although you may experience mouth tenderness after dental work, it’ll go away in a day or two and won’t get any worse. For instance, your dentist may recommend follow-up care after wisdom tooth extraction to minimize pain, and the discomfort should fade with time.
If you continue to experience pain days after your dental procedure, it’s important to seek dental care at your earliest. Keep scrolling to learn about the most common reasons behind dental discomfort after a procedure.
Jaw pain is one of the most common complaints dentists get from patients after a dental procedure. If you had a procedure that required you to keep your mouth wide open throughout the process, it’s common for your jaw muscles to feel fatigued due to being strained for so long. Due to strain placed on the temporomandibular joint, patients who clench their teeth are more likely to suffer from jaw tenderness.
You may confuse the pain with a toothache-like sensitivity that originates in the back and travels to the front of your mouth, but it’s essentially just joint and muscular discomfort. You may experience aching, trembling, and general muscular fatigue, which causes pain.
You can alleviate jaw fatigue by practicing mouth relaxation exercises. Dentists also recommend avoiding teeth grinding to help your mouth relax. You also use medications such as ibuprofen to relieve muscular discomfort and decrease inflammation. It’s also helpful to softly massage your jawbone while applying light pressure to alleviate stress.
If the pain persists despite all of that, it may help to discuss temporomandibular joint dysfunction with your dentist. Sometimes dental work may exacerbate the pain associated with TMJ, which happens when the discomfort in the jaw joint region persists for an extended period. For example, you may notice popping, restricted mouth opening, or discomfort while attempting to chew. A mouth guard or muscle relaxants might ease the pain.
All dental procedures may cause pain or discomfort, whether invasive or non-invasive. However, the pain associated with invasive procedures that take time to heal can’t be compared with non-invasive procedures. For example, even a routine dental cleaning causes discomfort. Still, you can’t compare that pain level with what you may experience during and after a root canal or extraction.
Similar to how filling a small cavity is usually quick and almost painless. However, filling a larger cavity requires large-scale treatment, which can cause nerve sensitivity. Even though a large cavity may not need a root canal procedure, it can still irritate the nerve, and the pain can last days or weeks.
Such discomfort can be alleviated using over-the-counter (OTC) medications for relieving or numbing the pain. Treating your teeth gently after an invasive procedure is essential to ensure fast healing. When brushing or flossing, use moderate-temperature water and a light touch to prevent damage to your gums and teeth.
Change in bite force
Treating cavities requires getting a filling where the decaying region of the tooth is removed and then filled with a composite filling, usually ceramic, that’s a perfect shade match for your original tooth. The dentist takes their best care to ensure that the filling accurately replicates the structure of your teeth. However, accidents happen, and sometimes the tooth’s shape isn’t quite right, and the filling ends up sitting too high. It results in discomfort every time you bite down as your bite force is not evenly spread over perfectly aligned teeth. Your bite force focuses on the filling, which irritates the nerve underneath the tooth and causes discomfort.
Thankfully, such discomfort after a dental procedure is quite simple to treat. So you should contact your dentist and tell them about your pain.
Poor post-treatment care
Another common reason for pain after a dental procedure is not following your doctor’s post-treatment advice. Most doctors recommend post-procedure follow-up care to help the healing process and minimize any pain you’re experiencing. However, neglecting such instructions can damage your dental health and create complications.
For example, taking special care after extraction is vital to avoid reopening the sealed incision as it may cause infections. Follow-up care involves drinking with a straw and consuming soft food that doesn’t require much chewing. If you disregard this recommendation, you can exacerbate your condition and the pain you feel since your mouth won’t heal properly. You also become more susceptible to infection or wound contamination.
Most pain associated with a dental procedure should fade in as little as 48 hours. For complex or invasive procedures such as wisdom tooth extraction and root canal, it can take up to two weeks for the pain to go away. However, it may take many months for discomfort due to TMJ to subside following dental treatment.
Call your dentist if you’re experiencing discomfort that isn’t consistent with what they had described as common. You may need a follow-up procedure to fix problems caused by the first one or if the first one wasn’t done correctly.