Root Canal and Swollen Nodes

Hi Dr. Ellie,

First, I just wanted to thank you for the blog. I am a devoted reader. I wish I had stumbled upon it a lot sooner. I’ve been following the system for three months now. Unfortunately, I am paying a price for poor dental hygiene in the past. I have several fillings and had a root canal last year. I saw a new dentist (I live in the Boston area) in January and after x-rays and an exam I was told I need two more root canals and two more fillings. I also have a broken tooth that he suggested needed a crown. Needless to say my jaw hit the floor after reading the cost of all this work even with insurance.

I was surprised by the root canal suggestions because I had and have no pain at all with these two teeth. However, I woke up in the middle of the night yesterday with painful, swollen nodes in my neck and under my jaw on my right side. I was curious if it’s possible for these lymph node symptoms (still no tooth sensitivity/pain) to point to something related to needing a root canal?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,


Hi TP,

So sorry to hear about all your trouble and dental expenses. I agree that prevention is the only way to avoid these kinds of issues. Take heart though: if you keep on the program from now on, you should expect this will be a “one-time” treatment plan. One session of repairs and then with the help of xylitol and the rinses you should be able to maintain your oral health for ever!

Doing the rinses before this course of treatment will help your dentist. It is much easier for him if you can eliminating any gum disease around the tooth since any bleeding will make preparing a crown more difficult. You will have a better end-result if you work to prepare your mouth before treatment.

As for the swollen nodes I cannot say, but if your bad tooth was on that side it is a good possibility that the two are linked. You may have had a dead tooth with a small area of infection and it has now become more infected and has reached the draining nodes under your jaw.

You should be optimistic about the future unlike many people who have fillings only to find, five to seven years later, that they need them repaired (because they have broken down and decayed again).This should not happen to you if you keep on the preventive system.

Please let me know if I can help more.
Best wishes,
Ellie Phillips, DDS

Email me your questions at:

Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,