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Suspecting a root canal infection? Here are signs you should know

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

A root canal infection is a serious but often overlooked malady of the oral cavity. It is caused by inflammation of the pulp, which comprises of the nerves and blood vessels that are responsible for the sensation and nourishment of the tooth.

This infection puts the tooth at risk of being removed and can spread to the neighboring teeth and gums as well. Serious infections could affect your overall health. Here are some symptoms that you should watch out for:


Toothache is one of the most common symptoms of a root canal infection. Pain upon biting or chewing, throbbing that doesn’t go away or sudden, spontaneous onset of pain are all signs that you may have a root canal infection.

Pus and gum boils

Once bacteria invade a root canal, they look for a point of exit. This exit is often in the gums, which results in a yellow ooze coming from near the gums or from any gum boils (little bubbles in the gum area). If you notice this fluid or a bad taste in your mouth, make sure you get examined.


Sensitive teeth are quite common among individuals of all ages. You may feel a sudden spike when your teeth come in contact with foods that are too hot, cold, or spicy. However, when you have a root canal infection, the particular tooth would be more sensitive than the others. Also, the sensitivity would stay for a while even after chewing has stopped.


This is one of the most apparent symptoms that you can look out for. If any one of your teeth gradually starts to get discolored and turn grayish-black in appearance, chances run high that the tooth’s pulp is infected. The tooth can be saved by a root canal procedure and after that, a restoration can be placed on it to improve its color.


If you have swelling around your gums, be sure to get examined by a dentist. It can mean that bacteria have exited from the root canal and penetrated into the gums. The bacteria can spread to other teeth, potentially infecting them as well.

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is best you get to a dentist as soon as possible. With the right treatment performed in a timely manner, you’ll minimize damage to the teeth and neighboring structures. Schedule an appointment at Smiletheory so we can help you further.


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