How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?

February 15, 2024

Root canal therapy is a procedure that cleans out the decay and infection that has reached the pulp or root of your tooth. Your endodontist might recommend opting for this treatment when decay spreads to the soft core of your tooth, exhibiting painful symptoms. This might raise a question: how do I know if I need a root canal? Continue reading this blog post to get familiar with the telltale signs.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that involves cleaning out decay and restoring the infected tooth. The endodontist performs this procedure, extracting bacteria and decay from the pulp, root, and nerve of your tooth. After cleaning out the affected tooth, the specialist will disinfect it using antibiotics and fill in the empty roots. Lastly, they seal the area to protect it against new decay. Thanks to a root canal, your natural tooth will be preserved, even if it becomes more fragile. Sometimes, the dental expert covers the root canal tooth with a dental crown to keep it safe from further damage.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

You can know for sure if you need a root canal by visiting the dentist. However, there are several symptoms that indicate you may require endodontic treatment. Here are some signs that you need a root canal:

1. Constant Pain

If you are dealing with persistent pain, it might be a sign that you need a root canal. The pain might be constant, or it may go away only to return once again. The damaged tooth can also cause referred pain in your jaw, face, or other teeth. There are many causes of tooth pain, so you should see your dentist to receive adequate care.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

You might experience tooth sensitivity to heat and cold. Pay attention: do you feel tooth pain after consuming something warm like a cup of coffee? Or, perhaps you feel discomfort after your tooth comes in contact with something cold, such as ice cream. The sensitivity can feel like a dull ache or a sharp pain in the tooth. In case of lingering pain, even when you stop eating and drinking, you may require a root canal. The sensitivity could be a sign that the blood vessels and nerves in your tooth have an infection or damage.

3. Tooth Discoloration

An infected tooth can become discolored. When you experience trauma to the tooth or a breakdown of the internal tissue in your tooth, it can give it a grayish-black appearance. The tooth pulps die due to insufficient blood supply, and they can signal the need for a root canal. Though tooth discoloration can have other causes, it is recommended to see a dental professional if your tooth is changing colors.

4. Swollen Gums

Another common sign that you need a root canal is swelling in your gums. You will notice swollen gums near the affected tooth, and it is possible that you experience tenderness there as well. The acidic waste product of the tissues might be responsible for the swelling, and it often forms an abscess on the gums. It is also possible that pus oozes from the boil!

5. Tooth Mobility

Your tooth could start to feel loose when it is infected. It could be because of the acidic products that soften the bone surrounding the root of the tooth, which results in mobility. You might need a root canal or another treatment if your tooth is moving!

Final Word

You will experience persistent pain, tooth sensitivity, swollen gums, and other symptoms when you need a root canal. Make sure to visit a dental specialist when you notice the signs and receive adequate care.

Insight Dental Group is here to provide high-quality and dedicated dental care. Dr. Avni Goel and Dr. Vikram Shad, our experienced dentists, will restore your tooth and proceed with the most suitable treatment. Get in touch with our experts at (713) 623-0700



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