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Texas State Board Of Dental Examiners Still Require Dental Offices To Follow COVID Emergency Rules And Still Require Everyone To Wear A Mask Regardless Of Governor Ruling

A root canal is a common and reliable way to restore a tooth’s inner layer. Although the likelihood of infection afterward is rare, it’s not impossible. That is why it is important to monitor symptoms post-treatment.

In this blog, we’ve outlined the 7 warning signs indicating infection after a root canal treatment. By recognizing these signs early on, you can swiftly detect and prevent any potential infection.

Is it Normal to Feel Pain After a Root Canal?

Yes, it is normal to experience some discomfort or soreness for a few days after having a root canal. It might be very uncomfortable if there’s swelling or inflammation surrounding the damaged tooth, especially when eating.

Sharp dental equipment used close to the gum line during treatment might also cause tissue injury. Your dentist will often recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever for those days of discomfort, but the pain should remain moderate.

If you are experiencing severe pain 1-2 weeks after treatment, however, this is not normal by any means and often means that infection has settled in.

What is a Root Canal Infection?

A root canal treatment is needed when tooth decay, poorly placed fillings, or extensive damage exposes the inner pulp to bacteria, causing infection. If a root canal procedure is not performed correctly, some bacteria may remain, leading to the possibility of reinfection.

How Long After Root Canal Treatment Can Infection Occur?

Signs of infection post-root canal can appear soon after if the treatment fails to remove all the infection. Severe pain 1-2 weeks later, the treatment suggests procedural issues. This is why early detection of such signs is crucial.

Signs of Root Canal Infection

These 7 signs of infection after a root canal procedure should be treated seriously:

  1. Persistent Pain
    Mild discomfort after a root canal is normal. However, persistent or worsening pain could indicate infection, either confined to the treated tooth or spreading to the jaw or face.
  2. Swelling
    Swelling near the treated tooth or spreading to the face or neck post-root canal indicates infection and urgent dental care is necessary to address potential abscesses or serious infection.
  3. Fever
    A fever after a root canal treatment may indicate infection in the treated tooth or surrounding area. It signals your body’s immune response to fight infection.
  4. Discharge
    Pus or discharge from the treated tooth or surrounding gums signals infection. It may be accompanied by a foul taste or odor.
  5. Sensitivity to Hot or Cold
    Some sensitivity to hot or cold after a root canal treatment is normal, but extreme sensitivity may signal incomplete infection removal or new infection development.
  6. Tooth Discoloration
    Discoloration shortly after a root canal may signal bone infection. Ongoing discoloration over time is also possible post-treatment.
  7. Bad Breath
    The smell of an infected tooth is commonly described as “rotten” or “foul,” and it may be another sign of infection developing after root canal treatment.


If you notice signs of infection after your root canal, don’t delay. Ignoring symptoms gives the infection more time to spread.

If you’re in Houston and experiencing any of these signs after your root canal, we urge you to schedule an appointment with Royalty Dental Associates without wasting a single minute. Call us at your nearby location!

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