Signs of Infection After a Root Canal
Root canals are probably the most dreaded of all dental procedures. But root canal therapy is a routine procedure, and most patients do not experience complications.
While it is rare, infected root canals can become problematic again after you have had a root canal performed. You should contact our dental office immediately if you have recently had a root canal treatment and have any of the following symptoms.
Common Signs of Infection After a Root Canal
Root canal infections often produce numerous symptoms, like severe tooth pain. Please call our office right away if you experience any of these indications.
- Severe Pain: Your tooth pain worsens after treatment or does not improve within a week of the root canal surgery.
- Extreme Tooth Sensitivity: Your tooth becomes extremely sensitive to hot or cold food or beverages.
- Excessive Swelling or Tenderness: Your procedure causes significant swelling or is extremely painful in a specific region.
- Bad Breath/Bad Taste in the Mouth: Sometimes, an infection can produce a foul odor or bad breath. Some patients also experience a bitter flavor.
- A Pimple Appears on your Gums: A dental abscess might occasionally result in a pimple on the gums. It may be tempting to rupture the pimple to relieve the pressure, but doing so can cause the infection to spread.
How quickly does an infection appear after a root canal?
Unfortunately, there is no timetable for a possible infection. Most infections, however, occur within the first two weeks following surgery.
If the infection recurs several years after the surgery, it usually indicates additional tooth decay in the inner layer, which would have allowed bacteria to access the previously sealed root. Regular cleanings and checkups can aid in the prevention of root canal infection.
Why would a root canal infection return?
Sometimes, because of the root’s shape or position, cleaning and disinfecting it might be challenging. Even the most seasoned dentists may struggle to reach every nook and cranny of your tooth to eliminate germs. Furthermore, if bacteria is left behind after the dental treatment, it can cause another infection.
Bacteria can also enter the canal during the procedure. A root canal is always done with sterile equipment in a clean location, but saliva may inadvertently contact the open area and transmit germs.
Finally, the infection might be more complicated than initially thought. Or the bacteria could have been antibiotic-resistant. Sometimes, a single treatment isn’t enough to cure it.
Can a root canal infection heal on its own?
No. An infected root canal always requires treatment to heal.
When infection or dental abscess is not treated, it may spread to other areas of the body. If the infection spreads, it may cause additional problems, such as sepsis, which can be fatal.
How is a root canal infection treated?
A dental infection usually responds well to a course of antibiotics. However, if the infection persists, it may be necessary for surgery or additional procedures.
If you think you need a root canal procedure, or if you think you may be experiencing another infection following root canal treatment, let us know as soon as possible. You can call our office at 301-464-2323 or click here to request an appointment.