An Old Root Canal Tooth Is Bleeding

Asian man holding the side of his face with a root cnal toothache

I had a root canal on my left second molar in 2005. Two years ago, the crown broke and came off. Part of the crown fell inside the tooth. My dentist removed it and held the tooth in place with a splint. Last month, I felt a toothache on and off. But now I feel throbbing pain, and the tooth bleeds sometimes. The pain seems to be referring to my check and eyes. I planned to switch dentists because I got sick there after my last dental cleaning. And I know I got the germs there. With this issue, I don’t know if I should just call for antibiotics or see another dentist. Thank you. Ethan from Owings Mill, MD


Dr. Sirin would need to examine and x-ray your tooth. But if your tooth is bleeding and you feel throbbing pain, you need to see a dentist right away. Antibiotics alone will not resolve the issue.

Exposed root canal filling

When saliva contaminates a root canal filling, it can wash away the cement and expose the tooth. The tooth can get infected again. And your symptoms seem to show that you have a progressive infection. Also, if a crown comes off and exposes root canal filling material, your tooth will get infected without a new crown. Although we can’t tell from your summary if you ever received a new crown, you need one after your infection is under control.

The infection and pain that travel to your cheek and eye can spread to your brain. You can decide whether to return to your current dentist or ask for recommendations for a new one. If you do not see a dentist right away, the infection will continue. Remember, antibiotics without treatment can result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria and prolong your symptoms. You need repeat root canal treatment. If a dentist cannot resolve the issue, see an endodontist (root canal specialist).

Please call a dentist today.

Dr. Steve Sirin, an Elgin, Illinois dentist, sponsors this post.

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