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 Locations

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Long Island City

Monday:

9:00 am-6:30 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-6:30 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-5:30 pm

Friday:

Closed

Saturday:

9:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Manhattan

Monday:

Closed

Tuesday:

Closed

Wednesday:

Closed

Thursday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

Closed

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • "Dr Steve Manson... Superb! Janese... Top notch manager

    Jan 14, 2016 5/5 stars"
    - Morison, Jacqueline
  • "best dentist in town, very modern.

    Dec 27, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    -Toure, Elhadji
  • "The stairs will become more difficult as I age.

    Nov 5, 2015"
    - Hogan, Debra
  • "great dentist great secretary most important his treatment is outstanding. special treatment who have fear!!

    Oct 22, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - Scime, Rose
  • "There was time between appointments.. You don't feel that the doctor has no time for you. Dr Manson has time for your individual needs... What a great man!

    Aug 27, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - Morison, Jacqueline
  • "The visit was with staff that was friendly and professional.
    June 27, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - McEvoy, Joe
  • "Professional staff, make you feel comfortable as you can be in the dental chair. Any questions you have are always answered & explained to the fullest. Taken for your appt. on time.

    Jun 25, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - Phelps, Ruth
  • "Dr Steve Manson exceeds the standards of excellence in dentistry. We need another ten more of Dr Steve around New York City.

    May 21, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - Morison, Jacqueline
  • "The Staff is wonderful. Dr. Manson is the best Dentist I ever went to. Does excellent work, and NO PAIN... Hes mine forever. I tell everyone I know to only go to him...He is a professional in every way. 5 STARS ALL THE WAY!!!

    May 8, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - scime, Rose
  • "I was treated by staff and colleagues very well.

    June 27, 2015 5/5 Stars"
    - Rywak, Tamara
  • "Always feel confident I am getting the best advice possible on any dental situation.

    Mar 24, 2015 4/5 Stars"
    - Phelps, Ruth
  • "You guys are awesome!!!
    Aug 5, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Antoian, Kerrianne
  • "Besides being a great dentist, Dr. Manson is kind and caring.

    Jul 2, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Immordino, Rosary
  • "Fantastic dentist; been going to him for 15 years. Very nice and professional receptionist/assistant. Dr. Manson is the best of all professionals: he is meticulous, extremely skilled and has a warm but focused manner. The best old school professionalism with state-of-the art dental care.

    Jun 20, 2014 5/5 stars"
    - DiLeo, Leslie
  • "the office is run in a very professional manner. No changes are really needed.

    Jun 17, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Daly, William
  • "As always Dr. Manson and his assistant Janice are excellent. I travel from eastern Long Island because they are excellent! I have been a patient for approximately 40 years.

    June 12, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Tavano, Claudia
  • "Fantastic office. Fantastic work.

    Jun 11, 2014 5/5 stars"
    - Rusin, Ruza
  • "Janice is excellent!!!!!!

    May 6, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    -Tavano, Lawrence
  • "ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL!

    Apr 24, 2014 5/5 stars"
    - Mushorn, William
  • "Janiece is a wonderful addition to Dr. Manson's practice. She is so helpful and wonderful with a calm demeanor. Perfect hire Dr. Steve!

    Apr 21, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Duffy, Robin
  • "No issues. Dr. Manson seemed very knowledgeable and I really appreciated his hands on approach.

    Apr 8, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Lodato, Anthony
  • "Dr. Manson was thorough, gentle and very understanding. Would absolutely recommend!"
    - Ikeguchi, Jennifer
  • "Don't change a thing...continue to do the excellent job and service I receive every three months.

    Mar 18, 2014 5/5 stars"
    - Morison, Jacqueline
  • "A fast thorough no nonsense cleaning procedure performed in a pleasant friendly manner.

    Mar 11, 2014 5/5 Stars"
    - Chu Mun, Donald
  • "No pain! Janice is great!

    1/19/2014"
    – K. Dicicco 5/5 Star
  • "PAINLESS....FOR ME....THAT SAYS IT ALL.!

    11/12/2013"
    - B. Mushorn 5/5 Stars
  • "Caring, efficient, meticulous, professional. What more do you want?

    11/6/2013"
    – D.Chu Mun 5/5 Star
  • "I have been going to Dr. Manson's office for 30 years. Starting with his Dad and then moving on to Dr. Steven Manson who is wonderful! I was someone who avoided dentists for many many years because i was fearful but if you do have that fear he will put you completely at ease. I know for a fact that had i not started when i did with him I would more than likely not have a tooth left in my head. I have very soft teeth with lots of decay from bad eating habits and he has fixed them all just perfectly. I do believe my fear came from having teeth pulled which didn't really have to be at a young age so just give him a try, just once, and your fears will be settled. You should also know I do not write reviews normally and that is how strongly i feel you will be happy with this choice. Good Luck and You're Welcome :)

    11/6/2013"
    – Anonymous 5/5 Star
  • "DR. Manson is highly skilled, caring and professional with an excellent staff that makes a trip to the dentist a pleasant experience. If you're looking for a great dentist in Long Island City- he's your man!

    10/13/2013"
    N. Ricci 5/5 Star
  • "Competent, caring, gentle, friendly. What more could you want?

    10/11/2013"
    – Immordino, R. 5/5 Sta
  • "I started going there with Dr. Roy Manson and when he retired I now see his son, Steven. They have been the most concerned about caring for you and not causing you any pain which other dentists did cause a great deal of pain in my youth. Very knowledgeable and always trying new and better methods of dentistry. I didn't have to wait long this time either which is a BIG plus.

    10/3/2013"
    - B. Trazino 5/5 Star
  • "Dr. Manson is a wonderful dentist that I have been going to for years and would highly recommend him…

    9/26/2013"
    – Costello, M. 5/5 Star
  • "Dr. Manson and his staff are extremely professional. I feel very confident at having my dental health in their care. Typically, my latest visit was a pleasant experience. My cleaning was performed successfully and efficiently.

    9/22/2013"
    – Daly, W. 5/5 Star
  • "Awesome

    8/23/2013"
    – Cheffolway, L. 5/5 Star
  • "The best dentist in all of the city, been going to Dr. Manson for 20+ years, he is kind, gentle and just an amazing dentist.

    8/23/2013"
    - R. Michele Marigliano 5/5 Star
  • "Dr. Manson is probably one of the BEST dentists in the area. Other then the fact that my entire family goes to him he really DOES care about his patients and his work (something that is hard to find these days.)

    8/21/2013"
    -– Anonymous 5/5 Stars
  • "As always the care was tops!

    7/27/2013"
    –Tavano, C. 5/5 Stars
  • "Every time I leave Dr. Manson's office (and it's been well over ten years since I first saw him), I think "what a fantastic dentist." He is skilled and meticulous in his work and senstitive to the patient's comfort. He makes smart use of the latest dental technology, and he is old-fashioned in the best sense of that description: focusing on quality care for the patient.

    7/5/2013"
    – Dileo, L. 5/5 Stars
  • "Another great and gentle dental experience with Dr. Manson!

    6/26/2013"
    – Anonymous 5/5 Stars
  • "Dr. Manson is the greatest. Puts you at ease and has hands of a surgeon.

    6/1/2013"
    – R. Motta 5/5 Stars
  • "Dr Manson is an excellent doctor.

    5/13/2013"
    – R. Tavano 5/5 Stars
  • "I have been a patient of Dr. Manson's for nearly thirty years, and would recommend him to anyone interested in receiving excellent dentistry without pain or stress.

    5/6/2013"
    – R. Owsley 5/5 Stars
  • "I always feel comfortable with Doctor Manson and i always get praise on my teeth and i said Thanks to Dr. Manson

    5/6/2013"
    – R. Cavaliere 5/5 Stars
  • "Dr. Manson is on my opinion the "Best Dentist" in New York. I have been a patient of Dr Manson fit over 25 years and would recommend him to everyone. As a Dentist he makes his patient feel at home and relaxed. Everyone in the office will make your visit as comfortable as you can be.

    5/1/2013"
    – R. Hidalgo 5/5 Stars