Many patients are curious about whether or not they can get an infection after a root canal. Although it is rare, it is in fact possible to get a mild to serious infection after a root canal procedure. It is important to be aware of and recognize symptoms of infection early on to ensure the infection does not spread or lead to additional complications.

Here are the 5 things you should be on the lookout for after a root canal treatment.

Persistent or Reoccurring Pimple on the Gums

Often, prior to a root canal a patient will have a pimple or abscess on the gums near the tooth with or without pain. Often this pimple will release pus or fluid. Once a root canal is complete this abscess should get smaller and eventually disappear. If the abscess remains more than seven to ten days after the root canal procedure, you may have an infection and you should contact your endodontist or dentist immediately.

Persistent Feeling of Lethargy

Feeling a little tired or run down is normal after a root canal. However, a few days after treatment you should feel your energy come back to normal levels. If you remain tired after seven to ten days, or if you are feeling increasingly tired, contact your endodontist or dentist.

Area Around the Tooth and Gums Feels Hot

Often an infected area will feel warm to hot. If the area around the tooth and gum where the root canal procedure feels abnormally warm inform your dentist or endodontist immediately.


A temperature over 99.5 degrees is one of the most common signs of infection. If you have a fever after a root canal treatment, contact your endodontist or dentist immediately.

Persistent Pain

Pain or soreness for a few days after a root canal, especially in the area of the affected tooth and gums, is normal. However, if the pain worsens or is prolonged more than 3 days you should return to your dentist or endodontist.

If you experience any of these symptoms it is important that you contact your dentist or endodontist. With an infection, the faster it is identified and treated, the smaller the risk of further complications. Live in the Richmond, Virginia area and have questions about root canals before or after treatment?  Contact us, we are happy to answer your questions.