6 Signs Of Infection After Root Canal Treatment

6 Signs of Infection After Root Canal


Last Modified: October 3, 2023


A root canal is a dental procedure that can save a severely damaged or infected tooth, but like any medical condition, it’s not without its risks. While complications are relatively rare, one must be aware of potential signs of infection after a root canal. This blog post will discuss six key signs to watch out for to ensure your oral health remains in top shape. The six signs of infection include:

Persistent Pain

Persistent pain is one of the most common signs of infection after a root canal. After the procedure, you may experience some discomfort, but this should gradually improve over a few days. If you notice that the pain is worsening or not subsiding after a week or so, it can be a sign of infection. This may indicate an infection that requires attention from your dentist.


Swelling around the affected tooth or surrounding gum tissue is another potential sign of infection. Swelling is usually accompanied by tenderness, making it difficult to chew or even open your mouth fully. If you notice any unusual swelling in the days following your root canal, contact your dentist promptly.

Prolonged Sensitivity

It’s common to experience some sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures immediately after a root canal. However, this sensitivity should gradually diminish. If the sensitivity lingers or becomes more severe, it could be a sign of infection. Prolonged sensitivity suggests that the root canal treatment may not have entirely removed the infection.

Bad Breath and Taste

An unpleasant odor or taste in your mouth, particularly around the treated tooth, can indicate an infection. Bacteria may cause an unpleasant odor and taste.

Discharge or Pus

The presence of any discharge, pus, or abscess near the treated tooth is a clear sign of infection. You may notice a bump on the gum or a foul-tasting discharge. These are serious indications that the infection has not been adequately treated and requires immediate attention.

Fever and General Malaise

In more severe cases of infection, you may experience systemic symptoms such as fever, fatigue, or a general feeling of being unwell. If you develop a fever after your root canal or experience an overall decline in your health, the infection could be a sign that it has spread beyond the tooth.

How long does it take to recover after Root Canal Treatment?

Recovery after a root canal procedure typically involves a period of healing and restoration. Immediately following the root canal treatment, you may experience some numbness or tenderness in the area due to local anesthesia. This discomfort usually subsides within a few hours as the anesthesia wears off.

In the days following the procedure, it’s common to experience mild soreness or discomfort around the treated tooth. As your dentist recommends, this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

It’s important to follow your dentist’s post-operative instructions, including avoiding hard or chewy foods, practicing good oral hygiene, and attending follow-up appointments. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics if an infection is present or if they deem it necessary for your specific case.

In most cases, the discomfort should gradually improve over a few days to a week, and you should begin to feel more comfortable as the healing process progresses. However, suppose you experience severe or worsening pain, swelling, or any other concerning symptoms. In that case, it’s important to contact your dentist promptly, as these could be signs of complications that require further attention.


While root canals are generally successful at treating tooth infections, there is always a slight risk of complications. Pay attention to your body and any unusual symptoms following the procedure is crucial. If you notice any of the six signs mentioned in this blog post, contact your dentist promptly.

Early detection and treatment of post-root canal infections are crucial for preventing complications and ensuring dental health. Regular follow-up appointments with your dentist are also essential to monitor the healing process and address any potential issues promptly. Your oral health is worth it, so don’t hesitate to seek help if you suspect an infection after a root canal.


1. What is a root canal treatment (RCT), and why is it necessary?
RCT is a procedure to treat infected or damaged tooth pulp. It’s necessary to prevent further infection and save the tooth from extraction.
2. How can I tell if I need a root canal treatment?
Look for signs like persistent tooth pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, swelling, or a pimple-like bump on the gum.
3. Is root canal treatment painful?
RCTs are generally not painful due to local anesthesia. Some discomfort post-treatment is common but manageable with pain relievers.

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