My tooth is infected again


Many years ago, I had a root canal done. The cap was placed but came off inside the root and left a hole. Now I have this terrible pain in the hole area and some bleeding when I clean it out. Then I put the tooth back in place which is held by a splint. Is this a tooth infection? My gums throb and the pain is spreading into my cheek near my eye. Do you think I need an antibiotic?

– Linda from Tennessee


It is difficult to understand exactly what you are describing without actually seeing you. But it does sound like a tooth infection. So you should probably get in to see your dentist as soon as possible.

If a root canal filling is exposed to saliva, it can make the cement wear down. So this means that it won’t be held in place and has the potential to become infected again. That may be what is going on here. Did the dentist put a temporary filling in the tooth to protect it when the root canal treatment was initially done? That is an important step since the temporary filling needs to stay in place. Or if the the permanent filling or dental crown breaks off so it is vulnerable to saliva, you need to get into the dentist immediately. Or you could be at risk for a new infection.

Also, if you are experiencing pain or swelling in the jaw, it can easily travel to your eye or even to your brain which has the potential to be deadly. Antibiotics can help control the infection, but if the tooth is infected it needs to be fixed. Or else the infection will keep coming back until it is taken care of.

This post is sponsored by Lafayette dentist Theriot Family Dental Care.

Related link: emergency dentist

Sensitivity to CEREC crown


A few months ago I was having issues with my tooth. It was very sensitive to temperature and pressure. My dentist recommended a CEREC crown to fix the tooth. I had it done and was impressed with the technology and the process. But after a few days the pain from hot and cold and pressure was still there and got to be too much. My dentist said he would ease the crown which helped a little bit after he did that. I was told a root canal wasn’t needed and to wait it out for another eight weeks or so. The pain never went away and over time it spread into my jaw, radiating in the tooth next to it. The excruciating pain went on for a couple weeks, than it seems the last few days the sensitivity is gone. I can eat normally and the temperature of food doesn’t bother it nearly as bad and sometimes not at all. Maybe I really did need to just wait it out. Do you know what has happened? Is it part of the CEREC technology?

– Tommy in Vermont


I think it is time to have an x-ray of the tooth taken by another dentist.

The CEREC crown is a great option under the right circumstance. Typically when a tooth shows sensitivity to hot and cold it is due to an irritation. A crown placed would add to the irritation of the tooth. When a tooth is sensitive as you have explained and also needs a crown, first thing to do is remove the decay and make sure that a root canal treatment is not required.

What may have happened is that the pulp inside your tooth has died and is no longer sensitive. Usually when a tooth is hurting or is extremely sensitive it is a good indicator of an infection. Just because your pain has gone away doesn’t mean that the infection is gone.

Sounds like it’s time for a second opinion from another dentist.

Best of luck.

This post is sponsored by Lafayette dentist Theriot Family Dental Care.