No one likes root canals. Yet there’s no good reason not to like them.
Dentists perform 25 million root canal procedures every year. That’s more than 41,000 in a single day.
89 percent of patients feel satisfied after a procedure. It lets a person chew, drink, and talk without worry after just a few days of recovery.
But not all root canals are perfect. A few can fail. These rare cases require immediate intervention, so it’s important to recognize failed root canal symptoms.
You can learn the basics in just a few minutes. Here is your guide on how to recognize the symptoms of a failed root canal.
Pain is one of the most common signs of a failed root canal. Many people get a root canal because they feel pain in one tooth. Successful root canals will result in some pain, especially while biting down.
But a root canal should resolve the pain that you had previously. If you feel pain weeks after your root canal, your procedure may have failed.
Most pain comes from inflammation in the gums and surrounding tissues. Pus may build up in them.
Dentists can perform a percussion test to determine if there is inflammation. A dentist taps on the tooth surface with their finger or the end of a dental mirror. They can observe if the gums are swollen or if the patient feels pain.
Most dentists resolve the pain by retreating the root canal. They remove the filling and disinfect the canal itself. Then they reseal it to avoid exposure to harmful bacteria.
2. Sensitivity to Heat or Cold
Conditional sensitivity is less common than pain, but it can happen. You may not experience any troubling signs unless you encounter certain conditions. You may drink a hot or iced beverage, only to feel sudden pain.
Sensitivity is often the first sign of a failed root canal. It can indicate that the filling is a little loose. It can also suggest that the nerve in the tooth is exposed, which can later result in significant pain.
But other things can cause sensitivity. A tooth may have a little decay. The gum may have receded.
You can go to your dentist if you experience sensitivity on a regular basis. You should also try using a toothbrush and toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
Bristles should be soft. Brush your teeth in up-and-down motions to avoid harming your gums.
Swelling can accompany pain and sensitivity, or it can appear on its own. After a couple of weeks, you should not have any swelling at all.
You may encounter swollen tissues elsewhere. Extreme cases can result in swelling in your face or neck.
If you do, you should go to your dentist right away. Swelling is often a sign of a serious infection at the root of your tooth. Tissues that swell will begin leaking pus into your mouth, which is very unpleasant.
Even if you don’t experience any other symptoms, you should look for swelling in your mouth. Press your finger against your gums. If you feel anything unusual, head to your dentist.
Dentists can create a vent, draining the pus in the swollen tissue. They can replace the root canal filling if discomfort is significant.
When a dentist drills into a tooth, they remove the nerves inside it. This is because the tissue surrounding the nerves contains harmful bacteria or infected material.
Blood can seep into the filling that the dentist puts into the tooth. As the blood dries, the filling can turn brown. A little discoloration is not a sign of a serious problem.
But extreme discoloration is. If your tooth turns completely brown, you may have continuous bleeding.
Your dentist can patch up your gums and surrounding tissues. You may need to avoid biting on that tooth to keep the bleeding down.
Dentists can fix the filler, bleaching it so it looks white. They can also use dentin material that fills the canal at its base. This will keep blood from leaking out.
Discharge can come from swelling. Pus can leak out of swollen tissues into the mouth. Blood could leak out of your canal into your mouth.
Some people experience an abscess, which is a collection of pus. You may not feel an abscess as it develops. Pus may appear in your mouth, which can taste disgusting.
If you taste a discharge, spit it out. Drink warm fluids to clean your mouth. Avoid touching the area where the discharge came from.
Open your mouth and look for where it did come from. Gently touch the tissues around your canal to see if they feel swollen.
Dentists can drain an abscess or adjust your canal so the tissues don’t become irritated. Adjusting your canal may not be ideal. If the filling or crown cracks, it needs significant repairs.
Dentists can place same day crowns over root canals. These will top the canals, keeping discharge from leaking through them. These will also keep bacteria from entering and creating abscesses.
The Failed Root Canal Symptoms
Can a root canal fail? Yes, on rare occasions. Know failed root canal symptoms and you can stop any complications from occurring.
You will experience pain, but you should not after a couple of weeks. The same goes for sensitivity to heat or cold and swelling.
Discoloration is a sign of bleeding into the canal filling. Discharge is a sign of infection.
Inspect your gums and tooth for these signs. If you notice them, get them fixed. Your dentist can adjust your filling or install a crown.
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