A lot of patients who have had root canals are experiencing symptoms of infection these days. The root canal is one of the most prevalent dental procedures around the world. So is it really possible for old root canal infection symptoms to start showing several years after the procedure? According to most dentists, it’s a sad truth that infections could occur due to poor oral care and other reasons.
What Is A Root Canal?
A root canal treatment is a dental procedure specifically performed to remove a bacterial infection from the tooth root canal. This procedure aims to save the tooth from extraction as much as possible and is often followed by endodontic treatment. The treatment concludes by removing the inflamed or infected pulp, after which the tooth will be deep cleaned, decontaminated, filled up, and secured.
Causes Of Root Canal Infections
Our teeth are not 100% solid. They are made of different layers which makes them hard on the surface. The inner layer of our teeth is called dentin, a porous tissue. We feel sensitivity from time to time because the core of our teeth is composed of soft tissue which is called the pulp.
But what causes the infection? The main reason varies from one person to another, but listed below are the common reasons why they happen to a tooth:
- tooth decay
- injured tooth
- broken, chipped, damaged tooth
- damaged pulp
- repetitive dental procedures
Old Root Canal Infection Symptoms
Whether you just recently had a root canal treatment or a few years back, symptoms of infection could occur at any time. Listed below are the signs of root canal infection as described by a comprehensive dental team in Kellyville Ridge:
Constant toothache is one of the primary symptoms of an infected root canal. The pain might come and go but when they appear, they cause extreme discomfort. You would feel excruciating pain that seems to come from the inside of your tooth. Apart from this, other parts might feel uncomfortable as well such as the face, jaw, and nearby teeth.
It’s important to note that tooth pain could indicate many other oral health problems such as follows:
- tooth decay
- sinus infection
- impacted tooth
- gum disease
Whatever the reason may be, if tooth pain occurs, call your dentist for an appointment immediately. Diagnosing and treating toothache early on leads to more favorable results.
Hot or cold food and beverages will start to bother you once your tooth becomes sensitive. The sensitivity to hot and cold comes with sharp and sudden pain and typically lasts for a few seconds and extends as it gets worse. This might indicate that you have a root canal infection and immediate medical care is needed.
Discoloration Of Teeth
It’s normal for us to have teeth stain due to the colorful foods we consume. But if a certain tooth is becoming discolored which is more visible than others, then root canal infection must be considered. Discoloration occurs if the tooth is traumatized or if the tissue inside is breaking down. This symptom is easier to see in the front tooth, however, it could also happen to the hidden teeth at the back. If you notice an irregular discoloration of your tooth, consulting your dentist would be the best option.
A root canal might be needed if the gums near the painful tooth are swollen. The swelling comes from time to time and typically feels different each time. Some days they are tender and painless, other days they are too sore that causes extreme discomfort. Swelling begins when the acid wastes of the expired pulp tissue spread out. In some cases, an abscess or a pimple in the gums takes place as well. One of the unpleasant effects of this pimple is bad breath.
Pain When The Tooth Is Touched
True that toothache is one of the symptoms of root canal infection but another kind of tooth pain could also occur. This is when you feel pain once the infected tooth comes in contact with food or is being touched. When this happens, there is a possibility that the tooth is infected and at risk of decay. The dying pulp inside the tooth causes severe sensitivity to the top of the tooth which results in pain if the tooth is tapped.
Broken Or Chipped Tooth
Teeth can be broken due to accidents. This is a very serious dental condition that needs to be addressed immediately. A broken tooth is basically an invitation for bacterial infection. In some instances where an accident took place but the tooth stayed whole and unbroken, it’s still advisable to consult a dentist. An injured tooth could still be damaged from the inside and inflammation as well as sensitivity might follow.
Once your tooth becomes severely infected, it might become a little bit lose and unsteady. This is when you touch your tooth and it goes from side to side. A loose tooth happens when the nerves inside are dead that causes the bone around the tooth to become soft. Yet, if more than one tooth feels loose, other factors should be considered apart from root canal infection. You might need to visit a denture clinic to check your options if you have many lose or missing teeth.
One of the primary symptoms of infection is bad breath. This is because the bacteria could release an unpleasant odor that travels around the mouth.