Signs You Need a Root Canal
Your tooth has been bothering you for a while now. Is it a sign you need a root canal? Maybe – in many cases, only a dentist can determine if dental pain and other signs and symptoms indicate the need for this tooth-saving procedure.
Dentists recommend root canals to save badly decayed or damaged teeth. The term “root canal” refers to the procedure in which dentists clean out the canals within the tooth’s roots. These canals contain blood vessels that nourish the tooth and nerves that sense heat, cold, pressure and other stimuli. Infections, damage, and tooth decay can stimulate the nerves to cause pain and other symptoms.
Years ago, root canals were often painful; modern root canal procedures are much less uncomfortable. In fact, a root canal stops tooth pain resulting from decay or damage because the dentist removes the tooth’s nerve.
Signs and Symptoms You Need a Root Canal
Tooth decay, infections, and damage can cause specific signs and symptoms that may indicate that you need a root canal. In many cases, though, physical symptoms do not appear until the problem has gotten so bad that it threatens the tooth. In these cases, root canals are the only option to save the tooth.
There are seven signs and symptoms that a root canal is necessary. The sooner you recognize the signs and see a dentist for treatment, the better your outcome will likely be.
1. Persistent pain
Long-lasting tooth pain is a major sign that you may need a root canal. The pain may be constant or it might come and go. You may feel pain deep inside the affected tooth, or you might feel pain in your face, jaw, or other teeth. Your dentist can determine the source of pain, as persistent tooth pain may be the result of gum disease, a cavity, a damaged filling, or referred pain from a sinus infection or other problem.
2. Chipped or cracked tooth
A chip or crack can allow bacteria to enter into the tooth to cause inflammation and infection. Even if you injure a tooth but did not chip it or crack it, the injury might still damage the nerve to cause enough pain to warrant a root canal.
3. Sensitivity to Hot or Cold
If your tooth hurts when you eat or drink hot or cold beverages and food, you might need a root canal. The pain may be dull or sharp. Your dentist can determine the cause of your tooth sensitivity.
4. Gum area is swollen
Tissue inside the tooth, known as pulp, can die. The dead pulp tissue can produce acidic waste that causes gum to swell.
5. Dark discoloration of the tooth
Infection in the pulp of your tooth can discolor your teeth. Trauma to the tooth or breakdown of tissue inside the tooth can also turn teeth dark and damage the tooth roots. Your dentist can determine if a dark discoloration means you need a root canal.
6. Prolonged tooth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is relatively common, affecting about 1 in 8 people, but it does not mean all of these people need a root canal. In most people, tooth sensitivity goes away shortly after they stop eating or drinking hot or cold stuff. Tooth sensitivity that lasts for a long time after you have quit eating or drinking may be a sign that you need a root canal – your dentist can determine if your prolonged tooth sensitivity is a sign that you need the procedure.
7. Deep decay
A root canal may be in order if you have deep decay in the tooth. Left untreated, even small cavities can get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. Tooth decay that reaches the root canal can destroy the nerves and pulp inside your tooth.
Do you have tooth pain or other signs that you need a root canal? Williams and Daily is here for you – our gentle, compassionate dentists have advanced skills when it comes to performing root canals. We are proud to say that we are the highest rated dentist in Raleigh on Google. Our patients love us, and you will too. If you think you need a root canal, we can help – contact Williams and Daily today.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.
Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist in Raleigh, NC with a dedicated team of dentists, assistants, hygienists and administrators who are enthusiastic in their commitment to
their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.