If you have had a tooth abscess, then you're likely to start feeling a lot better soon after having a root canal done on the tooth. This procedure removes the infection and cleans out the tooth.

However, you may be a bit worried if you look in your mouth the next day and see a lump on your gum under or above the treated tooth. The lump feels a bit sore and tender when you touch it. Why is the lump there and is it anything to worry about?

Why Is the Lump There?

Before you had the root canal work done on your tooth, you may have had a lump in the same place you see it now. This lump is often a sign of an infection at the bottom of the tooth. While your dentist has cleaned the tooth out, the lump may stay for a little longer before your gum goes back to normal. If you press it gently, it may hurt but not as much as it did before you had the tooth treated.

Sometimes, you get a lumpy area after a root canal because of the treatment itself. While this kind of treatment is straightforward for your dentist, it does involve going into the tooth's root and pulp fairly vigorously to remove infected tissue. The lump may simply be down to normal bruising and swelling after the treatment. This may be inside the gum, hence the lump.

Do You Need to Call Your Dentist?

If the lump is a natural reaction to the work that was done, then it should start to reduce in size gradually on its own. You should see a daily improvement in the first few days after the treatment. However, there are times when you may need to see your dentist again. For example, if the lump doesn't go down at all after a few days and remains a bit painful, then it's worth calling your dentist for advice.

If the lump gets bigger or becomes much more painful, then it may be a sign that the infection has returned. Typically, this will affect the tooth as well, which will start to feel sore and tense. In this case, you should make an immediate appointment to see your dentist to have it checked out. Your dentist may give you some antibiotics to kill off the infection once and for all; in some cases, they may treat the tooth again if they feel it needs more work.