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Root Canals

Bruising

12/05/2006

Question:

After root canal work which I have had done many times, I developed swelling, followed a few days later by bruising under eye followed a couple days later by more bruising on lower jaw. It was an upper tooth and all bruising is on that side of face. Taking clindamycin following dental work. Do not take lidocaine because of "racing" heart. Dentist is on vacation. Should I seek medical help? I look like someone used me for a punching bag!

Answer:

Following certain root canals, a flare-up can develop.  A flare-up is significant pain and/or swelling a few hours to a few days after treatment.  This happens in about 10% of the population, and we cannot predict when it will occur.  The risk is greater with retreatments (root canals being redone). 
 
Usually, this is treated by addressing the symptoms with antibiotics and pain medication.  I cannot make a definitive diagnosis of what is going on or suggest specific treatment without evaluating you myself.  I would suggest a follow up appointment with a dentist or endodontist. 

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University