Root Canal Infection Symptoms By John Meola on May 04, 2018

An illustration of a root canal infected toothA root canal infection is a serious dental condition that is caused when bacteria reach the central canals of the teeth, either as a result of tooth decay or injury. A root canal infection should be treated as soon as possible because the condition can progress rapidly once bacteria infect the soft pulp tissue in the inner chambers of the tooth. Root canal therapy is an effective procedure that can be performed to eliminate the infection and restore the tooth.

At Dental Associates of New England, Dr. John D. Meola and our team of dentists educate patients about the symptoms of root canal infections so they can contact our office as soon as they develop the signs of the condition. To learn more about root canal infection symptoms, read on, and then contact our Boston, MA practice to schedule an appointment.


Pain is the symptom that causes most patients to undergo dental care when they have a root canal infection. Root canal therapy can cause severe pain. The discomfort is also characterized as pain that is particularly high when biting down or applying pressure to the tooth. In addition, the tooth may be especially sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks.

Swelling and Tenderness of the Gum Line

A root canal infection can cause inflammation at the gum line. This swelling can cause the gums to feel tender and look more red than usual. In most cases, the swelling and discomfort is localized, meaning it affects the area surrounding the infected tooth.

Darkening of the Tooth

The tooth that is infected may darken and look more brown or yellow in color. When the tissues in the root canals become infected, they turn dark brown, affecting the color of the tooth. During root canal therapy, the darkened tooth material will be removed and the tooth will be capped with a crown, brightening the appearance of the tooth.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess can cause extreme discomfort and bad breath. It forms when bacteria and the dying pulp tissue create a pus-filled pocket at the tip of the root. The abscess may create a bulge or recurrent red bump or pimple on the gums. It may also begin to leak foul-smelling liquid.

During root canal therapy, the painful abscess can be drained, and bacteria and dead tissues removed to restore comfort.

Chronic Bad Breath

Patients that have a root canal infection often have chronic bad breath. If bad breath is constant, even after brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, an infection may be present.

The bacteria that cause root canal infections emit a foul odor. As a result, patients often experience bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth. The formation of an abscess can further exacerbate this problem.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have a serious dental condition that needs to be treated in a timely manner to avoid further problems or tooth loss. Contact Dental Associates of New England today to schedule an appointment at our practice.

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Dental Associates of New England

At Dental Associates of New England, we have a team of talented experts in restorative and cosmetic dental care who can give you the dazzling and healthy smile you deserve. We are affiliated with many prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • The American Academy of Periodontology

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (781) 890-4900 today.

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