Q. After RCT treatment, how did the infection get spread to the jaw?

Answered by
Dr. Tinu Thampy
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 05, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jun 11, 2021

Hi doctor,

I had a root canal by a general dentist. I was told that the tooth was infected and going through with the procedure would be my best. I consented and had my treatment. I was done with the treatment and came home with full of instructions given to me. I had Penicillin and Ibuprofen for every six hours. Initially, it was fine, but I awake the next day with more pain and swollen face. When I called up my dentist, he said that he has to remove the cap and the tooth as the infection got spread to the jaw. Apparently, the infection was already in the jaw, and he did not tell me that. If so, then I would have opted for extraction. I am aware that the root of all the teeth are curved and have been told that it may make the procedure a bit difficult. I understand that being neglectful has its price. I have attached the x-ray here for better management. I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance.



Welcome to

  • As per the radiograph (attachment removed to protect patient identity), your tooth infection had extended beyond the root apex and entered the underlying bone, and it becomes a periapical abscess. The tooth roots are much flared also.
  • Root canal treatment is a conservative approach to save the natural tooth by removing the infected tissue within the pulp chamber and root canal.
  • Some teeth may have additional root canals than usual. So, there may be chances to miss any canals during root canal treatment. For example in lower molars usually three canals are there, but in some patients, the same tooth may have up to five canals.
  • In some cases, the apex of the root canal may be very narrow, calcified and curved. So, the orientation of the instrument may deviate from the exact root canal curvature and take another path. Hence, a part of the swellings will be untreated or not cleared from infected tissue. Initially, it can subside with antibiotics, but later infection can be exaggerated after stopping antibiotics.
  • One more reason for secondary infection is the infected tissue that can be pushed beyond the apex during the procedure. It can also cause a secondary infection.
  • If swelling of the face is more, then better get the extraction followed by incision and drainage of the abscess done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

For further information consult an endodontist online -->

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Does a root canal failure cause light-headed, dizziness and blocked ear?

Hello doctor, I have a failed root canal with an abscess ... Can the abscess cause these issues ...   Read full

What is a benign mole?

With your descriptions, it seems that you are having a mole with secondary infections ... Once infection gets controlled, then you can go for removal ...   Read full

My daughter got hit on her head with a wooden swing. What to do?

As it is an injury around the eye, it may cause congestion in the eyes and secondary infection as well ...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

Dengue Fever: Common Questions Answered
Dengue fever is a self-limiting mosquito-borne viral illness that has taken a massive toll on public health. Read below ...  Read more»
Listeriosis - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Listeriosis is a bacterial infection, that can result in severe complications like meningitis, sepsis, and even death. R...  Read more»
Myositis - Types, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prognosis
The term "myositis" refers to a set of uncommon diseases. To know more about myositis, read the full article below.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an Endodontist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.