Tooth infections are common among dental patients who don’t brush and floss their teeth as diligently as they should, resulting in cavities, infections, and tooth decay. Patients who have broken or cracked teeth are also susceptible to developing a tooth infection in the underlying “pulp,” which is treated via a root canal procedure. In this blog post, our endodontists will discuss some of the main warning signs you might need a root canal, as well as the importance of seeking treatment rather than ignoring the problem. Click here to find a Trillium Dental office near you, or book an appointment at one of our Ottawa dental clinics online.


Toothaches aren’t always a cause for concern, but if you experience long, painful toothaches that don’t subside on their own, you may have a tooth infection on your hands. Lots of patients first notice that something is wrong if they experience moderate to severe pain when chewing, brushing, and clenching their teeth. If you are dealing with persistence toothaches, it’s best to make an appointment with your family dentist as soon as possible to see what’s going on. Your dentist may find that you have a tooth fracture, a damaged tooth filling, or a decaying, abscessed tooth that requires a root canal.


Everyone is built differently, so some people’s teeth are more sensitive than others. However, persistent or extreme tooth sensitivity is never something that should be ignored, as this can be an indication of many different dental problems. People with tooth infections often experience tooth sensitivity when drinking a hot or cold beverage, which often lingers afterward. This level of tooth sensitivity is not normal and should be addressed immediately by your family dentist. In some instances, this can be a sign of receding gums, which are treatable, or you might be dealing with something more serious that needs to be addressed immediately. Depending on the state of your teeth, your dentist may recommend that you schedule a root canal procedure within the next few days.


Root canals are caused by an underlying infection in the tooth’s nerve, the pulpy center that makes up the tooth’s support system. If left unaddressed, the bacteria in this pocket begins to fester, causing further decay that can weaken the tooth to the point where repair is no longer an option. Not only that, but the tooth may become brown or gray in color (commonly referred to as a “dead tooth”), which may need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant, dental bridge, or some other kind of permanent dental restoration. It is important to schedule a checkup with your dentist as soon as you notice any degree of tooth discoloration, as this could be a sign that you have a tooth infection and need a root canal.


Another common indication of an infected tooth is painful, swelling gums near the tooth. Though the infection may have begun inside your tooth, it can spread to the surrounding tissue, causing your gums to feel and appear infected. Swollen, painful gums that bleed or pus easily are also a sign of periodontal disease, so it is imperative that you have your family dentist check them out as soon as possible. Odds are, you’ll need a root canal or a periodontal treatment to eliminate the bacteria from the site, which we are more than happy to take care of here at Trillium Dental.


Mouth ulcers can be an indication of many things, including oral cancer, oral herpes, and tooth infections. While canker sores typically go away on their own, it is not normal to have a recurring sore directly on your gums. Take this as a sign your body is trying to give you that something isn’t right, and that it might be time to contact your family dentist to book an appointment. While there is a chance that it could be nothing (canker sores are harmless and can be caused by vigorous tooth brushing, braces, dentures, acidic foods, or a mouth injury), it’s best to address these types of dental problems as soon as possible so they don’t become even worse.


If you are experiencing any of the infected tooth symptoms listed above, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your family dentist immediately. Our endodontists would be happy to examine your teeth and gums in order to determine whether you need a root canal, gum disease treatment, or no treatment at all. We believe that your oral health should be your number one priority, and we’re here to help you get the quality dental care you need to stay healthy. Contact Trillium Dental today, or visit one of our dental offices in Ottawa!