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Possible infection



Junior member
Apr 22, 2022
Long story short, I had a root canal on an upper molar about 6 years ago and despite the roots being a nightmare, it seemed effective. About 3 months ago I started getting pain when chewing, it has gradually gotten worse since then. For the past week I've had an awful taste in my mouth that is originating in that area and dentist has confirmed gum aggravation. The gum seems to have receded a little, exposing more of the dead tooth under the crown.

When seeing the dentist yesterday he attempted x-rays but the machine wouldn't co-operate and he's now on holiday so I can't get another appointment for at least two weeks. I have autism and clinically diagnosed health anxiety so this is all I can currently think about and it's making it difficult to focus, eat or take care of myself properly. Can anyone suggest something that might help? Does it sound like root canal failure/re-infection? My dentist is unsure as no fistula or excruciating pain but there is very pronounced pain on contact and dull pain the rest of the time.

Should I try to access x-rays somewhere else in the meantime to confirm? Or ask for antibiotics to help control it until I can see my dentist again? Any kind words or advice would be greatly appreciated as my nerves are fried and I'm spiralling into depression over the thought of losing another tooth. Many thanks.
Can another dentist at the surgery not take the xray for you? I'd not be happy that they've just sent you off with toothache with no scheduled follow up appt and no plan to move forward. If pain relief eases it you could sit tight till your dentist is back but I'd be scheduling an appointment for as soon as he is back.
Your practice must have a dentist covering their absence, so first thing Monday phone them and see what they say (might be an answering machine message but follow the instructions anyway).
It's impossible to say what's going on with your tooth over the internet I'm afraid, it's one of those ones that needs to be examined properly.
If it's lasted 3 months without flaring up into a big issue then it'll probably be fine for another couple of weeks, but don't let that stop you getting on the phone on Monday!
@Gordon Thank you. Today I noticed that the tooth is very loose all of a sudden. I was examined 3 days ago and no movement but today it's super loose. Should I schedule an extraction?
Sudden looseness would suggest some kind of fracture of the tooth, chances are it's not fixable but again, can't be sure without looking at it.
@Gordon I'm booked in for extraction. I'm so terrified but took a beta blocker and have confidence in my dentist so hopefully I can get through it OK. Thank you for offering your time here 🙏