My lower back tooth is due for a root canal treatment, but I have referred pain in the canine which subsides on applying Orajel. How?

Q. How is my referred pain in the canine from the lower back teeth subside on using Orajel?

Answered by
Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 25, 2022

Hello doctor,

I am due to have a root canal next week. I went to my dentist because of terrible pain in my lower right teeth. Primarily sensitive to hot and cold. She performed a cold test on my second molar from the back, and I reacted. So she said I needed a root canal treatment and crown.

However, I get referred pain in my lower canine. This is because I grind my teeth in sleep, and all four canines are flat. I have a night guard but have not been great about wearing it. My concern for the last year has been if I grind them down enough, will the pulp become exposed and cause pain?

Last night I was having pain, and nothing was helping, even with Ibuprofen 400 mg, Gabapentin 300mg, and Amoxicillin. I decided to try and put some Orajel on the flat part of my canine (top and bottom), and the pain went away for the most part. I am not denying I need a root canal but curious why the pain would diminish by using Orajel on the non-affected tooth. It is more of dull pain and not as much sharp pain.



Welcome to

I can understand your concern. The root canal is for the second molar for which the doctor did the cold test, am I right? And from when you started getting referred pain? Is it after this cold test?

Parafunctional habits like nighttime grinding or bruxism can wear out the tooth surface enough in the long run to expose the pulp. So the root canal infection risk will be higher if the habit continues. With Orajel, the pain may have diminished over the canine because it is not affected fully yet. It is just worn out, but the referred pain from the second molar will not subside till you get the root canal treatment and get it capped.

If you let me know correctly for how long you have been observing the pain in the canine segment particularly, I can help you with an accurate diagnosis. But you can go ahead with the root canal treatment in the second molar because the pain will aggravate once you stop antibiotics.

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