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Root Canals

Sore gum

12/26/2006

Question:

I recently had a root canal on tooth # 14, I guess they call this an eye tooth. Before the root canal my gum above the tooth was sore if pressed on. After 3 weeks the gum is still sore. I went to my dentist and he said it was scar tissue and should eventually clear up. Does this sound correct?

Answer:

An "eye tooth" is an older term for the canine tooth. This is a tooth in the front of your mouth. It is usually the longest front tooth and is located near the corner of your mouth. Tooth #14 is a molar tooth on your upper left side. Tooth number aside, it is not unusual to have some soreness following a root canal. Without seeing your tooth and radiographs, I can not say whether what you have is scar tissue.

Most tooth infections take some time to clear up, and that is why frequently endodontists do not do the return check-up on a root canal treated tooth for about 6 months. A very common course is to give things time to heal unless new symptoms develop or you continue to have a persistent bump on your gums that is draining fluid into your mouth. If these things happen or continue to happen, I would consult your dentist or endodontist for an evaluation.

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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