What Causes A Root Canal Infection
Common reasons for complications include:
- An undetected fracture or crack in the affected tooth
- An insufficient dental restoration that allows bacteria to penetrate the tooth
- Breakdown of the inner root canal filling material over time
- New cavities that develop around the affected tooth
Sometimes the infected tooth can be saved by retreatment or another root canal. However, endodontic surgery may be necessary.
Apicoectomy is the most common endodontic treatment for a failed root canal. During this procedure, the soft tissue around the tooth root is opened, the infected tissue is extracted, and sometimes the tip of the tooths root is removed.
Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection
Common symptoms of an infected tooth include:
- Throbbing, severe pain in the tooth
- Throbbing, severe pain in the jaw
- Tooth sensitivity
Tooth infections can spread, potentially causing life-threatening infections in other areas of your body. Severe pain and flu-like symptoms are common signs of spreading.
How Should I Prepare For Root Canal Treatment
Before beginning your root canal, your healthcare provider can answer any questions you have about the procedure. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your root canal treatment:
- Take all medications as prescribed: You may be given antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications a few days before your appointment, especially if there is a lot of infection present.
- Dont smoke: Tobacco products interfere with your bodys ability to heal itself. Avoid smoking several days before your root canal appointment and stop altogether if youre able.
- Eat a healthy meal: Since the local anesthesia used during root canal therapy will make your mouth numb for a few hours, its a good idea to eat before your appointment.
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Cracked Or Perforated Root
At times, as a last-ditch effort to save the tooth, the dentist may go ahead with a root canal, despite knowing that the chances of success are only 50 percent. This is especially the case with front teeth, where there are chances of fracture or cracks in the root due to trauma to the teeth. These cracks can become pathways for bacteria to pass into the tooth even after proper root canal procedure, eventually leading to tooth abscess.
Similarly, in some cases, the dentist may unintentionally perforate the tooth during the root canal of a posterior tooth, which, in turn, can make the tooth vulnerable to an abscess.
Take These Steps Immediately If Your Tooth Is Infected
A tooth infection or abscess can spread the surrounding bone and gum tissue, and the pain can become more severe. If you are experiencing signs of an infected tooth, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. Though treatment is necessary to resolve the issue, you can take steps to manage your pain until then.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Failed Root Canal
The signs of a root canal failure may include:
- Sensitivity when biting down.
Remember that a bit of pain following a root canal is normal you may feel discomfort for several days afterward.
You should become more concerned about pain that continues long after that, impacting your daily life and making you reluctant to partake in regular activities, such as eating and chewing.
Your endodontist may confirm the root canal failure by ordering a dental X-ray. A failed root canal will not get better without treatment. It is important to get a diagnosis for your ailment so you can pursue the proper remedy and receive the endodontic care you require.
Alternatives To Root Canal Therapy
Saving your natural teeth is the very best option, if possible. Your natural teeth make it possible for you to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition. Root canal therapy is the treatment of choice.
The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted. The tooth would then be replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These alternatives not only are more expensive than a root canal procedure but require more treatment time and additional procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.
Since some of the reasons that a toothâs pulp becomes inflamed and infected are deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and large fillings, following good oral hygiene practices may reduce the need for a root canal procedure. Trauma resulting from a sports-related injury can be reduced by wearing a mouth guard.
What Is An Abscessed Tooth
Youll know your tooth is abscessed when you feel an ache in the bone around the tooth. Other symptoms of an abscessed tooth include swelling or redness of the gums, painful gums, fever, and having a bad taste in your mouth. If you recognize these signs you need a root canal, we recommend calling your dentist to schedule an emergency appointment.
Abscessed teeth happen when your tooth has decayed enough for infection to breach the dental pulp inside your tooth. Once the tooth pulp is infected, it can create an abscess in the gums around the tooth. An abscess is a swollen area in your gums that contains pus.
If left untreated, an abscessed tooth can cause the tooth and jawbone to deteriorate, creating further pain and damage to your smile. The abscess can also push the tooth upwards, making it looser and more vulnerable to falling out.
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What Are The Signs Of Infection After A Root Canal
At Bay City Dental Center, Dr. Matthew Ward recommends root canal therapy to patients with a cavity that has a dying root. This usually causes pain or tooth sensitivity. During a dental exam with X-rays at our Bay City, MI dental office, he examines a patients teeth and gums thoroughly to detect any oral health issues that need to be resolved, including a root canal.
A root canal is necessary when there is a tooth with decay that has reached the pulp of the tooth. He can immediately decide at this appointment whether root canal therapy is best for your oral health. After you have a root canal, he will explain root canal recovery instructions, including signs of infection.
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Who Should Perform My Root Canal Procedure
Root canal treatment is completed by a general dentist or an endodontist . General dentists can often treat teeth near the front of the mouth since they have fewer roots. If you need root canal therapy on a tooth with multiple roots or if your case is complex then you may be referred to an endodontist.
Signs That Warrant A Return Trip To The Dentist
Here are some common signs and symptoms of a root canal infection that mean you should schedule another visit to your dentist:
- pain or discomfort ranging from mild tenderness to unbearable pain, especially when you apply pressure from eating or pressing on the tooth, or expose the tooth to extreme temperatures
- pus discharge thats greenish, yellowish, or otherwise discolored
- red, warm, swollen tissue near the tooth, especially the gums under or around the tooth in some cases, swelling can affect your face and neck, too
- tenderness or discomfort in swollen tissue, especially when you touch or apply pressure to it
- a bad taste in your mouth or a bad smell to your breath from infected tissue
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When Do You Need Endodontic Therapy
When your tooth is infected or inflamed and requires treatment beyond an uncomplicated filling, your dentist may recommend endodontic therapy. In addition to addressing any infection in and around your teeth, endodontic therapy can save a tooth that would otherwise be pulled out. With good oral hygiene, endodontic therapy is both cost-effective and long-lasting.
Can A Tooth That Needs A Root Canal Heal Itself
Unfortunately, the infected pulp of the tooth will not heal on its own and requires a root canal to properly be treated. Sometimes, patients may think a tooth infection has healed itself once they no longer feel pain in their tooth, but this just signals that the nerves inside of the tooth have died. While the patient may no longer feel pain, the infection will still be present inside the tooth. Left untreated, the bacterial infection can spread to your jaw, your brain, your blood, and your body.
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Can You Develop An Infection After A Root Canal
Yes. It is not typical to develop an infection after the root canal procedure has been finished, but there is always a small risk of this happening. Root canal infections can appear anywhere from a week to a decade after the procedure has been performed. Some of the reasons for these infections include:
- A canal left unclean because the tooth had an abnormal amount of canals that were not seen
- An undetected crack in the tooths root
- A defective restoration used over the root canal, allowing bacteria to get in and recreate an infection
- A seal breaking down over time, allowing the bacteria to contaminate the inside of the tooth
Sensitivity To Hot And Cold Food
Do your gums or the treated tooth feels sensitive as you sip along to cold or hot food or liquids? Thats a big red alert that you may be suffering from a root canal infection.
The root canal infection makes your tooth and the surrounding part of your gums hyper-sensitive to temperature changes. Thats why you feel discomfort and a flinching pian if you eat or drink anything hot or cold.
How To Prevent A Root Canal Infection
There are many steps you can take to help reduce your risk of reinfection after root canal treatment:
Seeing your dentist twice a year for routine exams and cleanings can help catch infections early and maintain healthy teeth.
How Is An Infection Treated
Retreatment is the term used for a root canal that is treated for the second time. This is done the same way as a conventional root canal procedure. If this is not sufficient, a surgery called apicoectomy is performed, which relieves the infection from accessing around the tooths bony area rather than through the top of the tooth.
Although relatively safe with a high success rate, we cannot discount the possibility of a root canal procedure going wrong and developing an infection. This is why it is important that you educate yourself and follow doctor instructions. If you have any more questions about the root canal and its possible complications, talk to a reputable dentist in your area now.
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Speak With Your Dentist
Tooth infections can be incredibly painful and dangerous. It is important to get professional dental care immediately. If you suspect that you may have an infected tooth, call today to schedule your appointment.
Request an appointment here: or call Kings Dental Group at for an appointment in our Lemoore office.
Signs Of A Root Canal Infection
April 5, 2021 in Uncategorized , by Jarett Wegner
Most people are familiar with the term root canal because of its association with the dental procedure of the same name that is used to treat a severe infection inside the tooth. You may be unfamiliar, however, with what the root canal itself is and how to tell if its infected. To help you better understand the procedure, read on for more information about the root canal and signs of possible infections.
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There’s Still Hope For A Re
posted: Nov. 11, 2018.
Most first-time root canal treatments achieve their purpose in saving an internally decayed tooth and extending its life to match those of the patients non-decayed teeth. Occasionally, though, a root canal-treated tooth may become re-infected by decay.
There are a number of reasons for this: the permanent crown meant to add further protection against decay may have been delayed, giving bacteria an opening to re-infect the tooth its also possible the original seal for the pulp chamber and root canals after filling wasnt sufficient to prevent bacterial contamination.
Theres also another reason thats very difficult to foresee the presence of narrow, curved root canals in the tooth that can pose complications during the procedure. Some of these known as accessory or lateral canals branch off the main canals to create a complex network thats difficult to detect during the initial procedure. If theyre not cleaned out and filled during the procedure any tissue trapped in them can remain infected and ultimately die. If these canals also open into the periodontal membrane at the attachment between the teeth and bone, the infection can spread there and become a periodontal infection that can trigger future tooth loss.
What Can You Expect After The Root Canal Procedure Is Done
You may experience pain and discomfort after the procedure. Other symptoms that you can expect include soreness, pain, numbness, and bleeding.
Root canal-treated teeth can last for more than ten years. However, an infection may reoccur, and you may develop the same symptoms in different intensities, but only in the rarest of cases. Root canal teeth are not considered weaker after treatment because the dentist uses a dental crown to restore their strength. Root canal surgery will save your tooth from extraction and provide you with a long-lasting tooth.
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Root Canals Do Not Cause Cancer
The documentary Root Cause released in 2018 follows the story of Australian filmmaker Frazer Bailey as he tries to determine the cause of his fatigue and depression. He believes a root canal he got when he was younger may have caused his symptoms. He even goes so far as to suggest that theres a direct link between root canals and breast cancer in women.
No causal link has ever been found between root canals and cancer.
The American Dental Association , American Association of Endodontists , and American Association of Dental Research have all released public statements warning that these false claims spread dangerous misinformation and may harm people who avoid getting root canals because of them.
What Happens During A Root Canal Procedure
The treatment for an abscessed tooth depends on its severity. If you catch an abscessed tooth in its early stages, your dentist can treat it with antibiotics or by draining the pus. However, if the tooth becomes infected, your dentist will need to do root canal therapy to save the tooth from dying. Your dentist will be able to walk you through the root canal treatment steps so you know what to expect.
The first thing your root canal dentist will do is locally anesthetize the area around the tooth so you dont experience any pain during the procedure. Next, your Grand Rapids dentist will use a small drill or other dental tool to create a small hole near the top of the infected tooth. Through this hole, your dentist will be able to access the inside of your tooth to clear away the damaged and diseased dental pulp.
For good measure, your dentist may flush the inside of the tooth with water and an antimicrobial solution to make sure any remaining pulp is removed. The root canal procedure usually takes two visits to the dentist. A temporary filling is used to seal the hole until your permanent root canal crown is ready to be placed. The permanent crown will be placed when you come back for your second appointment.
Dr. Ritzema DDS at Complete Health Dentistry does everything in his power to save an abscessed tooth. If you have a severe toothache and suspect you need an emergency root canal, be sure to call our Grand Rapids family dentist at .
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Learn When To Revisit Our Office For Root Canal Infection Treatment
Tooth decay spreads fast when left untreated and can lead to serious symptoms. At Bay City Dental Center, Dr. Matthew Ward specializes in diagnosing tooth decay throughout Bay City, Saginaw, and Midland, MI. During a dental exam, he can determine whether you need root canal therapy. After a root canal, he will discuss signs of a root canal infection that requires you to revisit our Bay City, MI dental office. When youre experiencing these symptoms, its important to schedule an appointment quickly with our root canal specialist.
What Are Root Canal Infections
Teeth arent solid all the way through theyre made up of layers. The hard, outer surface of a tooth is called enamel. The inner layer is called dentin and is a porous, almost sponge-like tissue. At the center of each tooth is a collection of soft tissue called pulp.
The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels that allow the tooth to grow. Its full of cells called odontoblasts that keep the tooth healthy.
A root canal removes the pulp of a tooth thats been infected or damaged by tooth decay or other injuries. Root canals can save teeth and are considered very safe.
Root canal infections arent common, but theres a small chance of a tooth becoming infected even after a root canal is performed.
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