What You Need to Know About Root Canal Infections
A root canal is a dental procedure that removes the pulp (soft center of the tooth) that has been injured, inflamed, or infected. While root canals are prevalent procedures, root canal reinfections are less common — but are still possible.
If you’ve had a root canal and think you may be experiencing a recurrent infection, Brian D. Hall, DDS, shares what can cause the infection, as well as what to be on the lookout for and when you should contact your dentist.
What Can Cause a Root Canal Infection?
Aside from the reasons for needing a root canal in the first place, there are many possible factors for how a root canal can become reinfected post-treatment. Some of those instances include but are not limited to:
- Bacteria entering back into the cleaned root canal system via recurrent decay, defective restorations on the top of the tooth or deeper cracks which can harbor bacteria leading to recontamination of the system.
- Extra accessory canals in the tooth could be storing residual tissue or bacteria — leading to possible contamination and reinfection of the tooth.
- The curved/narrow canals of the tooth may not have been adequately cleaned during the procedure.
- If the shape of the root canal was unique, tissue and/or bacteria could be left behind during the procedure.
What are the Signs of a Root Canal Infection?
If you feel as if you have a root canal infection, there are a few common signs and symptoms to be aware of. That said, know that mild discomfort immediately after your root canal procedure is standard — as well as experiencing some minor pains a few days after.
However, some signs that warrant a trip to your dentist include, but are not limited to:
- If you feel excruciating pain after a week has passed since your procedure
- Having an abnormally bad smell in your breath or an unsettling taste in your mouth
- Any sensitivity near the tooth — such as warm, swollen tissue
- A green, yellow, or colorless discharge of pus from the tooth or area near the tooth
Sometimes, it’s possible that a root canal may not have fully healed and could lead to a recurrent infection. Although the success rate of a root canal is over 90%, a treated tooth could still experience a recurrent infection months or even years down the road. This is why it is important to always see your general dentist for regular check ups so they are able to closely monitor for any issues that may arise.
Also, something to keep in mind: If a root canal infection is not taken care of right away, the infection could lead to a more serious problem.
Endodontic Care in Frederick, Maryland
With over 20 years of experience, Brian Hall, DDS, has been Frederick’s go-to endodontic care professional for root canals. With a fun, welcoming office decked out in music memorabilia, you’ll instantly feel at ease walking through the door. To schedule an appointment with Brian Hall, DDS, contact us today at (301) 696-2000 or fill out a simple form online.