What To Do If A Root Canal Gets Infected?

By Heritage Dental - Katy

A root canal is a dental procedure used to treat infected or damaged teeth. While root canals are generally successful, there is a small risk of infection. In this blog post, we will discuss what to do if a root canal gets infected, including symptoms, treatment options, and prevention tips.

What to Do If a Root Canal Gets Infected

Understanding Root Canal Infections

A root canal infection occurs when bacteria enter the tooth’s pulp, the innermost part of the tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. This can happen due to untreated cavities, cracks or chips in the tooth, or previous dental procedures.

Symptoms of an infected root canal may include severe toothache, swelling, sensitivity to hot or cold, and a foul taste in the mouth. If left untreated, a root canal infection can lead to serious complications, such as an abscess or the spread of infection to other parts of the body.

What To Do If You Suspect Your Root Canal Is Infected

If you suspect your root canal is infected, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will examine your tooth and may take X-rays to determine the extent of the infection. Treatment options for an infected root canal may include:

  1. Antibiotics: Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection and prevent it from spreading.
  2. Root Canal Retreatment: In some cases, the infected root canal may need to be retreated to remove any remaining bacteria.
  3. Apicoectomy: If the infection is severe, your dentist may recommend an apicoectomy, which involves removing the tip of the tooth’s root.
  4. Tooth Extraction: In some cases, the infected tooth may need to be extracted to prevent the infection from spreading.

Preventing Root Canal Infections While not all root canal infections can be prevented, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk:

  1. Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.
  2. Avoid hard foods: Chewing on hard foods, such as ice or hard candies, can increase the risk of cracks or chips in your teeth.
  3. Wear a mouthguard: If you play sports or grind your teeth at night, wearing a mouthguard can help protect your teeth from damage.
  4. Address dental issues promptly: If you have a cavity or cracked tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent infection.

While a root canal infection can be a serious and painful condition, it is treatable with prompt medical attention. If you suspect your root canal is infected, don’t delay in seeking treatment. With proper care and prevention, you can help reduce your risk of developing a root canal infection and maintain good oral health.