Combined Root Canal & Gum Problems

Toothaches cause a lot of trouble. Sometimes, it is easy to identify which tooth is the cause of the pain. However, when the discomfort spreads in a region of the mouth, it is difficult to make out where the pain is radiating from and what may be causing it. This type of pain may indicate pulp infection and an infected gum tissue.

Infections in the Gum and Pulp Tissue

Sometimes, an infection begins in the pulp of a tooth, or in the gums and over time, it spreads from one location to the other.

When the pulp of a tooth is infected, the infection can move into the periodontal ligament (which holds the tooth to the bone and gum tissue) via the openings at the end of the root, and may extend to the gum tissue, causing periodontal disease and gum abscess. In such cases, one is likely to experience excruciating pain in the infected tooth.

It is also possible that an infection in the gum travels to the pulp of the tooth via the accessory canals (passageways in between the tooth roots or on the sides of the roots). The infection is more likely to affect cracked or fractured teeth.


An infection in the gum tissue and tooth pulp creates a number of symptoms that make it difficult to identify the actual cause of the problem. Some of these symptoms may include:

  • Pain and sensitivity to hot and cold foods or
  • Pain and pressure while biting certain foods
  • Pain that seems to be triggered from a number of teeth or from the sinus area.
  • Tooth discoloration

The above symptoms could be an indication of a pulp infection or a gum problem, or a combination of both, and should not be ignored. In some cases, you may notice that the acute pain vanishes with time. This does not indicate the end of the infection, but points to an even more serious problem of the death of the infected tissue, causing the nerve to stop functioning.


It is very important to visit your dentist for a comprehensive analysis of the problem so that the tooth can be saved and chances of the infection spreading to other areas of the mouth can be minimized.

When an infection affects both the gum and the root canal, saving the tooth can become quite a challenge. The course of treatment adopted depends upon where the infection started.

If the source of the problem is an infection that began in the pulp and spread to the gums, there are chances that the tooth can be saved with immediate treatment. However, if the root of the issue is a gum disease that spread to the pulp, chances are that the bone may already have deteriorated, making it difficult for your dentist to save the tooth.

In either case, it is best to consult your dentist at the earliest so that an effective treatment plan can be developed to save the infected tooth and prevent the infection from spreading to the other teeth in the mouth.

If you are experiencing any signs of oral discomfort, sensitivity or pain, contact Papadakis & Gonzalez DDS in NYC for the best treatment and care. Call (212) 689-7199 for appointments.

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