Hi there,

I fractured my teeth playing sports a few months back, and was treated by an emergency dentist and released. A few weeks after the accident, my teeth became grey and discolored.  I was in severe pain and had swelling, so I had to go back to the dentist for an emergency root canal.

I was ok for a few days with antibiotics but now the pain is back. I don’t know what to do to get the pain to go away. My tooth is sensitive to cold food and even chilly air. I’m very uncomfortable and want the pain to stop.

Should I have gotten a root canal sooner? Do I need more antibiotics? What can I do about the pain?

Luca, from Quebec, Montreal

Hi Luca,

A discolored tooth means there is damage to the root, or an infection may be present. It needs a root canal treatment as soon as possible at the first sign of greying. Once the root is removed, the bacteria is cleared up and the tooth is sealed to prevent further problems. Leaving an infected tooth in your mouth longer than it needs to be there serves no purpose. Oral infections should be taken seriously, as they can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated too long.

It sounds like your root canal treatment was sealed before all the bacteria was removed, which is causing a flare up. Usually, the infection is allowed time and space to drain, but since it has been sealed, there is no where for it to go. Also, a few days of antibiotics is not enough time to be on the medication.

Your best bet is to find an endodontist specializing in root canals. They can fix what has been started, and will advise you on how to properly take your antibiotics for maximum effectiveness.

This blog post is brought to you by Gilbert emergency dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper, of Vista Dorada Dental.