Dentist Questions Root Canal Treatment

Why is my face swollen after a root canal treatment?

My face is still swollen after I got my root canal treatment 3 days ago. Is this normal?

21 Answers

The infection and inflammation has not fully resolved, Sometimes this can take 2 weeks. Take your antibiotics!
No, it is not normal. It could be caused by infection, bleeding, inflammation. You should go back to your dentist to have it checked
This is caused by swelling. You should use ice on it and hope that it goes down quickly. If it does not go down quickly go back to the dentist and have him check you.
Before I answer this particular question, I want to discuss the overall possible consequences of a root canal. Root canals, like other medical and dental treatment, can have side effects and complications, as well as very important benefits.

One of the possible consequences of a root canal is inflammation.

You can find more at my website. See the answer to this question and others about root canals at
No, it is not normal. You should contact your treating dentist.
There could be residual infection and you should contact your dentist if it’s not resolved in 3-4 days after treatment.
It can sometimes take a few days to a week for swelling to completely resolve. If it still present with pain after a week I would call treating doctor.
It could be normal due to the treatment.

Some medications cause tissue reactions that you don't want.

Go back to your doctor if it doesn't improve in five days.

Sometimes the infected remnants in the canal are pushed past the tooth apex into the bone and this causes swelling. In most cases a course of antibiotics will need to be taken which should resolve this. It is important to go back to your dentist/ endodontist to have this checked out
This is not abnormal. The area is cleaned however the abscess may remain temporarily and is contained wth no method of draining itself. With antibiotics the swelling should go down rather quickly.
You have an infection in your face from that nasty germ that killed your tooth. You better get on an antibiotic before it hurts you. Call your dentist immediately.
There are multiple reasons why your face can swell after a root canal. To effectively answer the question, return to the place where the procedure was performed for a full evaluation.

Your face is swollen because the cause of the infection (i.e., dead root tissue, decay/bacteria and antibodies all work to form purulent exudate or "pus") has not been completely removed and has liquefied the bone under the tooth. The tooth is under pressure and the pus needs somewhere to exit. The path of least resistance, believe it or not, is oftentimes your bone. After the bone, it gets into your gum tissue and affects the millions of cells there; this swelling of the face is called cellulitis and should be treated immediately.

In my experience, I've also seen this if the offending tooth has a root fracture or has split. Periodontal, or gum abscess, can cause the face to swell, with or without a root canal. Take all prescribed medications that your doctor prescribed and make an appointment asap to see your dentist.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
Your face should not be swollen 3 days after a root canal. I advise giving the treating dentist a call.
The symptoms in association with an elevated temperature means a call back to the dentist who performed a root canal and possible confirmation that you're on the right antibiotic if one was prescribed.
There still may be some infection trapped in the tissues around the tooth. I would get on a strong antibiotic like Clindamycin 300mg three times a day for 10 days. Your dentist should be able to call this into your pharmacy.
Swelling means there is still inflammation, and it takes a few days to subside after the treatment and healing of the site of infection.
Possible infection still present related to treated tooth. Possible inflammation due to treatment.
A swelling and pain can be caused by a flair-up, which sometimes happens after a root canal procedure. I recommend seeing your dentist for a follow-up.
Root canals can go very smoothly, and even the best specialists preforming root canals can have swelling after the procedure. Give it time and take your painkillers, but most importantly, take the antibiotic regimen that works! Call your specialist and confirm the antibiotic dosing sequence!

Hang in there, and don’t exercise or operate heavy machinery. You need to give your body the time it takes to heal!
Was the face swollen before the treatment or not? If it was not swollen before the root canal treatment, you need to go back to the dentist for further management.

This is a common issue in cases where the tooth is already infected. Unfortunately sometimes pain and swelling get worse for a short time before getting better. Often in these cases an antibiotic is necessary.