Recognize the Symptoms of Root Canal Infection By Dr. John Goodman on October 20, 2019

Illustration of a root canal infectionTooth decay is one of the most commonly treated oral health problems. When decay is limited to the surface of a tooth, treatment is simple. Unfortunately, without treatment, bacteria can reach the sensitive nerves and tissues that collect at the center of the tooth, commonly known as the pulp. These tissues can easily become infected by bacteria.

Dr. John Goodman offers root canal treatment to eliminate infection and rebuild a damaged tooth. Treatment prevents further complications, such as tooth loss. It is important that our Kansas City, MO, patients be aware of root canal symptoms so that they know when it is time to seek treatment. Here, we go over some of the most common symptoms associated with root canal infection.

Heightened Tooth Sensitivity

Discomfort is often the first symptom of a root canal infection. Discomfort most commonly manifests as heightened tooth sensitivity. Individuals may notice that cold or hot beverages suddenly cause irritation in one area of the mouth. The teeth are also likely to be especially sensitive to pressure, which can make it uncomfortable to bite or chew with a certain area of the mouth. Sensitivity may be mild at first, but without treatment, sensitivity will probably get more persistent and severe, until it begins to cause serious discomfort or pain.

Tooth Discoloration

Most people experience some degree of tooth discoloration or dental stains. But if a tooth seems to change color almost overnight, it is likely a sign of root canal infection. Root canal infection damages the tooth’s roots, which can cause their tips to darken in color. This discoloration can also spread to the crown of the tooth. When a root canal infection is present, the affected tooth may turn gray, brown, or dark yellow. Again, this discoloration will seem to come on suddenly, and will only affect the infected tooth.


Inflammation is another common symptom of root canal infection. The degree of swelling that is present may vary slightly for each of our Kansas City patients. Usually, inflammation is limited to the area of the mouth where the infection is present.

The gums may be red, swollen, and tender in one localized area. However, if root canal infection is especially severe, inflammation may also spread to the jaw, cheeks, or face. Inflammation is nearly always a sign of some type of oral health complication, so it needs to be reported to Dr. Goodman as soon as possible.


When a root canal infection develops, an abscess may develop. An abscess is a small, pus-filled pocket of tissues that can form at the base of the tooth, by its roots. If our Kansas City patients notice a raised area along the gum line, or a pimple-like formation at the base of a tooth, it is probably a sign that the tooth is infected.

Contact Us

Dr. John Goodman offers root canal therapy to treat root canal infection and prevent tooth loss. If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate you may be suffering from a root canal infection, it is important to seek professional dental care as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Goodman, call (816) 842-8585 at your earliest convenience.

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John P. Goodman, DDS

John P. Goodman, DDS We Give Kansas City a Reason to Smile!

Dr. John Goodman has more than two decades of experience serving the community of Kansas City, MO. He offers a comprehensive range of services to address all types of dental problems, and he accepts CareCredit® financing to make treatment as accessible as possible. 

To request a consultation, please fill out our online form or call us at (816) 842-8585.

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