Tag Archives: infected tooth

Tooth Hurts and Dentist Can’t Figure Out Why?

I had an accident while I was out of town. I had an emergency emergency dental appointment that resulted from that accident because of trauma to the tooth. I had two teeth hit. One of them was broken. The other was okay. The dentist did an emergency root canal treatment on the broken tooth. When I got home my dentist checked the work and said it was okay, then put a crown on the tooth. Now it’s been a couple of years and the tooth has really started hurting again, but the dentist cannot find anything wrong with it. There’s nothing on the x-ray and it does not hurt when he taps on it. I insisted it was hurting, so he sent me to a specialist. Unfortunately, the specialist can’t find anything wrong with it either. It is not hurting at the moment and I’m at a loss and worried I’ll lose the tooth, especially because it is a front tooth. Have you seen anything like this before?



Dear Christine,

Man holding his jaw in pain

I’m puzzled why both your dentist and the specialist, which I am assuming is an endodontist, are finding this hard to diagnose. While it is true that root canal treatments can fail, I don’t think it is likely that your front tooth did. There aren’t any surprise canals that are hard to reach on a front tooth the way there is on a molar.

You did have trauma to two teeth. My feeling is that you are having referred pain from the adjacent tooth that experienced the trauma but did not break.

Until an infection starts to spill out of the tooth, it is not unusual for nothing to show up on the x-ray with the pulp inflamed. It would not hurt when tapped at that point either.

If it is no longer hurting, that tells me that either the tooth has recovered or it is dying. If it is dying, that will eventually show up on an x-ray. The tooth will eventually start turning darker as well. I would not consider it a dental emergency, but I would keep an eye on it. You may find yourself needing another root canal treatment and dental crown at some future date. I would just keep up with your regular dental appointments and periodically have the tooth x-rayed.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesh.

Pimple turning tooth gray

I think I need help fast, but I don’t have a dentist. I have a pimple on my gums which is causing serious pain. I think it’s poisoning a tooth tooth because one of my teeth has turned gray. What do I do if I don’t have a dentist?


Dear Brooke,

Woman grabbing her jaw in pain needing an emergency dentist
Tooth pain is a dental emergency

I’m very sorry you are in so much pain. You’ve got two things going on here. One of which is considered a dental emergency.

Pimple on the Gums

Let’s start with the pimple on your gums. This is a sign you have an infected tooth. The pimple is known as an abscess. This happens because the infection is severe. Infected teeth are considered dental emergencies.

These infections will continue to spread. In some cases, they become life threatening quickly. This is a result of where they spread and how long they’re left untreated. Your jaw is very close to your brain and heart. If the infection reaches there, sometimes it is too late to do anything. There were too many people who died from tooth infections last year, given how preventable it is.

I do realize you don’t have a dentist. Because this needs to be seen to right away, I’m going to suggest you do an internet search for an emergency dentist. These are general dentists who are willing to see non-established patients quickly in cases of emergencies such as yours.

Often, they’ll do what they can to get you out of pain, prescribe an antibiotic for hold off the infection and schedule a follow-up appointment to give the tooth the entire treatment it needs.

A Gray Tooth

When a tooth has turned gray, that is a sign it is either dead of dying. This tooth was also infected, which is a definite indicator the infection is spreading.

The dead tooth won’t have any pain, but the infection is still there and will need to be removed by the dentist. Unlike medical infections, you can’t just take an antibiotic and be done. Antibiotics will only keep a dental infection at bay, it won’t rid your body of it.

With dental infections, the dentist has to get in there and physically remove the infection with a procedure called a root canal treatment. This often requires the tooth to be crowned as well.

Don’t put off getting this seen.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.