How to know if you have a root canal infection and need to see a dentist

How to know if you have a root canal infection and need to see a dentist

by Kassandra Silva (SU)

Dental decay can progress and reach the root canals, which can become infected. Once the bacteria reach the root canals, the infection can spread quickly. There is a chance that you could lose your tooth if you delay treatment. A root canal infection does not happen overnight, and infected pulp usually starts with a cavity or an injury to the tooth.

A root canal infection is considered a dental emergency, and if you have any of the following symptoms, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. An infected root canal can be treated with root canal therapy, a procedure that involves removing the infected tooth pulp in order to save the tooth. 

Signs of An Infected Root Canal

1.    Pain 

Severe pain is the main indicator that the infection has progressed to the root canal. The pain worsens whenever you try to bite down, as pressure is placed on the infected tooth.

2.     Red, Swollen Gums 

With an infected root canal, the gums can also swell and become inflamed. They turn red and become tender, which adds to the discomfort in the area surrounding the tooth. 

3.    Darkened Tooth 

Check the affected tooth -- has it changed color? When the deeper layer of the tooth becomes infected, the tooth changes color and may turn yellow or brown.

4.     Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a pocket full of pus that forms around the roots of the tooth and on the gum line. This is a result of bacteria combining with dying dental pulp. A dental abscess forms a bump that may look like a pimple. To make matters worse, the foul-smelling pus can seep out of the abscess.

5.     Bad Breath 

An infected root canal can cause bad breath. The bacteria, dying tooth pulp, and pus formation give off a very foul odor and contribute to bad breath that will not go away despite flossing, brushing, and using dental rinses. You may also have a bitter taste in the mouth.

If a root canal is infected, time is of the essence. There is not a lot of time left before the nerves inside the tooth die, and the dentist may not be able to save the tooth and will need to remove it. If you are experiencing symptoms of a root canal infection, make an appointment with your dentist right away.

Root Canal Therapy in Eugene, OR

Dr. Ari Binder of 360 Dental routinely performs root canal therapy to save patients’ teeth. Dr. Binder skillfully performs this restorative treatment with a very high success rate. If your root canal is infected, our dental team will do everything in our power to preserve the tooth.

It is imperative that you act fast once you have symptoms of a root canal infection. If you are concerned about keeping all your teeth, we offer you preventive services, such as routine checkups and professional cleanings, to fix issues before they cause bigger problems.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Binder, call us today at (541) 689-1645 or use our online request form. We look forward to serving you.