What Are the Signs of Infection After a Root Canal?

June 15, 2024

Root canals are a common dental procedure that saves countless teeth. However, like any treatment, there’s a small chance of infection afterward. The good news is that by watching for signs of infection after a root canal, you can catch it early and get the treatment you need.

What is a Root Canal Infection?

Ever had a cavity so deep it reached the center of your tooth? Ouch! That’s where the pulp lives, full of nerves and blood vessels. If this area gets infected, you might need a root canal.

Root canals become necessary when:

  • Cavities go deep.
  • Filings get damaged.
  • Teeth suffer major cracks.

These problems create an open door for mouth bacteria to enter and cause an infection in that sensitive pulp area. Sometimes, even a root canal treatment might not remove all the bacteria, leading to another infection later.

How Long After a Root Canal Treatment Can Infection Occur?

Root canal warning signs can show up in two time frames:

  • Right after the procedure: This could mean the infection was improperly removed during the root canal.
  • 1-2 weeks later: If you experience intense pain after this timeframe, it might be due to a mishap during the root canal.

Signs of a Root Canal Infection After the Treatment

As we discussed earlier, there’s a slight chance of infection after a root canal, just like with any procedure. By being aware of the signs, you can catch the infection early and consult your dentist to prevent it from spreading and causing more trouble.

So, what signs of infection should you look out for after a root canal? Let’s take a quick look:

1. Extreme Pain

A little post-root canal soreness is normal. But if the pain worsens, especially when you bite or eat something cold, it could be a sign of infection. This pain can also spread to your gum and jaw. If the pain isn’t better after 3 days, see your dentist.

2. Pus-Filled Bumps

An abscess, a bump filled with pus near the treated tooth, is a red flag. While not always painful, it indicates infected tissue. If you had an abscess before the root canal that failed to disappear even after a week, the infection might not be gone.

3. Tooth Turning Dark

Discoloration is a sign of trouble. If your tooth darkens to brown or yellow after treatment, the tissues inside are dying due to the remaining infection. The canal needs a proper cleaning.

4. Stubborn Bad Breath

If brushing does not help your bad breath, it could be a sign of a root canal infection. You might also feel a bitter taste in your mouth.

5. Fatigue

Feeling tired after a dental procedure is normal. But if extreme fatigue lasts even after 6-7 days, it could signal an infection spreading. Infections can travel through the bloodstream, causing fatigue as your body fights the bacteria.

6. Fever Alert

Always remember that a fever is your body’s way of battling infection. If you have a fever along with mouth soreness or swelling, see your dentist to have your root canal checked.

By being aware of these signs of infection after a root canal, you can catch an infection early and keep your smile healthy.

In Conclusion

If you experience any of these signs of infection after a root canal, it is important to consult your dentist immediately. The faster an infection is identified, the easier it is to treat it.

If you have any questions about root canals or wish to discuss any of the above-mentioned signs of infection after root canals, please call Smile Unique Dental & Orthodontics at (832) 391-8660.


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