Combined Root Canal & Gum Problems

Tooth pain.When you experience pain in your mouth, it's sometimes abundantly clear which tooth is causing it. At other times, the sensation of discomfort is more diffuse, generalized or hard to pinpoint. On occasion, it can even be challenging to determine exactly what problem or combination of problems is causing the symptoms you're experiencing. This may be the case when an infection exists in the root canals of a tooth as well as the gum tissue adjacent to it.

In this situation, the infection may have begun in the pulp of the tooth itself; or, it may have started in the gums. Over time, it has spread from one location to the other — and now it's causing a confusing set of symptoms that are difficult to sort out. Regardless of where the problem started, a thorough analysis will be necessary before treatment can begin, to give you the best chance of saving the tooth.

Confusing Symptoms

Root canal infection leading to gum disease.

From time to time, many people experience oral discomfort that's dull or intermittent. Occasionally, a more insistent pain may be triggered by a stimulus like temperature (from hot or cold foods or beverages) or pressure (from biting down on something). Sometimes, it may feel as though the ache is coming from a group of teeth rather than one single tooth — or even from the sinus area above the back teeth.

These symptoms can indicate a number of dental issues, including root canal and gum problems, and shouldn't be disregarded. However, if you manage to ignore the acute pain, in many cases it will fade in time. But this isn't good news: It generally means that the infected tissue in the pulp of your tooth has died, and the nerve is no longer functioning. That's when the problem may become more serious.

Chicken or Egg?

Gum disease leading to root canal infection.

When the pulp tissue inside your tooth becomes severely infected, it's possible for the disease to move through openings at the end (apex) of the root, and outside of the tooth. It can then spread to the periodontal ligament, which anchors the tooth to the surrounding bone and gum tissue. From there, the infection may extend to the gum tissue and cause periodontal disease, or even result in a painful gum abscess. At that point, you may have pain — even severe pain that will let you know exactly which tooth is affected.

But it's also possible for the infection to be spread by the exact opposite pathway. In this case, an infection that originated in the gums (commonly due to periodontal disease caused by a buildup of plaque) may have has traveled through small passageways called accessory canals, which are located in between a tooth's roots, or on the sides of the roots. The infection can then extend into the tooth's pulp. If your teeth are fractured, it's even easier for disease to spread.

Treatment Methods

When dental problems involves both root canals and gum disease, saving the affected tooth can prove challenging. This is when it matters where the infection started: If it's primarily a root-canal problem that later moved into the gums, the outlook for the tooth is reasonably positive if it receives immediate treatment. If gum disease came first, however, the prospects often aren't as good; by the time the infection has moved into the tooth, it's possible that much bone has already been lost, making the tooth's long-term prognosis poor.

In either case, the cause of the tooth pain will need to be diagnosed and an effective treatment plan developed. The sooner that happens, the better: Root canal and gum problems simply don't get better on their own.

Related Articles

Confusing Tooth Pain - Dear Doctor Magazine

Confusing Tooth Pain It is occasionally difficult to pinpoint the origin of tooth pain, which can result from an infection of the tooth itself, or of the gum, or even spread from one to the other. Nevertheless, it's always important to sort out what's going on so that the right treatment can be selected and the tooth saved... Read Article

Our Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

The office is open alternating Wednesdays and Fridays!

Primary Location

Monday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

  • "This dental office rocks! Dr. M. & all her staff are knowledable, professional, & all very friendly."
    Lisa Griffith
  • "The entire staff at Ahh Dental are amazing. From the moment you walk in to the treatment area and checking out. Dr. Moreschini is very nice and makes sure patients are comfortable with any treatment. I would recommend everyone and anyone to Ahh dental!"
    Stephanie Lovato
  • "Excellent service and a great staff."
    Herman Lujan
  • "This team is awesome! Each and every one of them are present when you are talking and they explain everything in a language you can follow. They each have a heart of gold. I recommend then to all. I will never go anywhere else for my dental care."
    Regan Rezac
  • "Dr. Moreschini is not only intelligent, well-versed, articulate in diagnosis as well as treatment, but kind and gracious in her treatment administrations. I knew, a year ago, Ahh Dental would be my dental home. I’m even more vested now as a patient but also as a “family member” to this exceprional team of people who strive to provide the best outcome for their patients. Thank you, Ahh Dental"
    Sabine Stanley
  • "I loved this dental office. When I moved away from Santa Fe, I was sincerely sad because it also meant saying goodbye to a dentist I could trust!"
    Jennifer Quick
  • "The patient comes first. The front desk, hygienist and dentist all work together to get you in the healthy zone. The office seems to be run professionally with all the insurance processes integrated."
    John Urbanowski
  • "Best dentist and caring staff."
    Yvonne Vigil
  • "From the front staff to my dental hygienist, everyone was so friendly and personable. Ahh Dental made me fill at ease and that my concerns were important. Very efficient, awesome experience."
    Barbara
  • "I visited Ahh Dental for the first time earlier today and it was one of the most positive experiences I've had at a dental office. I am actually looking forward to my next appointment. Everyone was extremely pleasant and attentive. If you are new to town, or just looking for a new dentist I highly recommend Ahh Dental."
    Kelse Lighthizer
  • "Amazing place! Amazing staff! Everyone that works there is so friendly and down to earth. Honestly wish I could come back all the time I enjoy it so much. Went above and beyond, very highly recommended!!"
    Jordan Higgins
  • "One of my top dental experiences. Everyone was very kind, knowledgeable, and professional."
    Diann Darnall
  • "Highly recommend Ahh Dental. Dr Moreschini is one the the best Dentist who is not only professional but cares about her patients and their well being. She has an excellent staff who are very helpful and also very professional!!"
    Marcella Sandoval
  • "This place is great! Super friendly and welcoming staff! I actually enjoy going to the dentist here! Really recommend them!"
    Oscar Rivera
  • "Dr and staff are the best! Always professional and friendly. They’re current about best dental practices, and the best thing? They don’t nickel and dime you to death. Love them!"
    Susan Miera
  • "Ahh Dental has a wonderful atmosphere and an awesome staff. My appointments and procedures have all been very pleasant and professional - thank you Ahh Dental for my happy teeth and big smile."
    Cherie Hughes
  • "It’s a pleasure sitting in Dr. Moreschini’s chair. She’s a stellar graduate of Creighton and a wonderful reminder of the Marquette University dentists I had for thirty years. She is always a pleasure to work with, efficient and excellent at pain prevention and management. This young woman is my third dentist in three years in Santa Fe. Unquestionably the best."
    Mark Janssen
  • "I'm so glad that I found Dr Renae. She's great to work with . Feel very at ease with her and her staff. Great people. Highly recommend her. Thanks Dr."
    John Vigil
  • "Very clean, conscientious about Coronavirus. Prompt, friendly, quality work"
    Victor Nelson
  • "I had a wonderful experience at Ahh Dental. Everyone was truly kind and professional. Everything was explained to me beforehand and they made sure I was comfortable and felt at ease. Dr. M.and her staff truly care about their patients. Thank you for making my dental appointment a positive one."
    Georgina Perez
  • "Excellent Ahh Dental was very professional and provided me with great care . You can definitely trust Doctor and staff. Procedures were pain free and the work that had been done is excellent you can not get any better service than that."
    Virginia Salazar
  • "Never had a more comprehensive exam and cleaning by dentist and Roxanne, the hygienist. They fortunately found two cavities that two other dentists had missed altogether.!!! a VERY BIG DEAL. also had to have a molar pulled and Dr. Moreshini was so skilled that I didn't even feel it at all! I learned so much from Roxanne about how decay happens, how to prevent tooth decay, how to effectively and affordable whiten my teeth.

    Amazing clinic... Everyone should experience this attention and care for their oral health care."
    Claudia Wolfe