What are the signs you need a root canal?
Before we jump to that, let’s remind you that the purpose of a root canal is not to cause you immense pain – we know many of you would shout ‘pain’ when you hear the term ‘root canal’ while playing the ‘first word’ game!
A root canal procedure is aimed at treating a tooth that is severely decayed or infected.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a root canal involves the removal of bacteria and dead or dying tissue from the inside a tooth. Thanks to modern techniques, a root canal procedure is relatively less painful now, requiring only one or two trips to the dentist. In fact, the discomfort and pain experienced are actually during the period leading up to seeking dental help and not the procedure itself!
So, if you suspect a problem or two with one or more teeth, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist to see if they are signs you need a root canal.
Here are a few common dental problems that warrant immediate care and a root canal.
1. Persistent Pain
An aching tooth is one of the most common signs you need a root canal. Tooth pain indicates that something might be wrong with the root.
If the pain disrupts normal activities, including eating and drinking, you should consider seeking help from your dentist as soon as possible.
The dentist will check your dental cavity and examine your tooth to see if there is an inflammation in the nerves or blood vessels due to possible infection. Typically, antibiotics don’t help much to ease the pain and hence, your dentist may suggest you have a root canal as the ultimate solution.
2. Tooth Sensitivity
Does your tooth experience sharp pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold?
It might require a root canal.
Many patients complain that their tooth aches when they drink hot coffee or tea or when they eat ice cream. This is called tooth sensitivity.
The intensity of the pain doesn’t really matter here because more often than not, what starts as a minor pain can progress into intense pain in just a few hours or days.
What happens is that when you have a tooth infection, cold and hot food and drinks cause a lot of pain and discomfort. It may be a sign that the nerve or blood vessels of your tooth have been damaged.
Consulting a dentist in the early stages is the key. After examining the condition of your tooth, they may conclude that you need a root canal.
3. Chipped or Cracked Tooth
Chipped or cracked tooth often require root canal treatment to ensure optimal oral health.
Some people end up cracking or chipping their teeth while playing contact sports or eating hard food items while others may experience it as a consequence of a dental procedure gone wrong.
A chipped or cracked tooth leaves the nerves beneath exposed, creating the possibility of an infection. And when the root of your tooth gets infected, it can enter your bloodstream and spread in the body. Hence, you must never take a chipped or cracked tooth lightly and visit a dentist as soon as possible to get expert advice.
An infection that is ignored for too long or is left untreated usually requires a root canal to be treated and prevent further pain, swelling, and infection.
4. Discoloration of the Tooth
Have one or more of your teeth started turning a shade darker?
It may be because of poor oral hygiene or because you consume food items and drinks that are notorious for staining the enamel. It may also indicate a damaged nerve beneath the tooth’s surface.
So, if you notice dark discoloration of your tooth, make sure you book an appointment with your dentist to get it checked. The dentist may schedule a root canal appointment if they spot nerve or blood vessel damage. The procedure will remove the damaged root to treat and prevent dark discoloration and further tooth damage.
5. Deep Decay
While tooth is a gradual process, no amount of brushing, flossing, and rinsing will help if the decay sets in within the base of your tooth.
If you don’t take a cavity seriously, it’ll soon spread down into the nerve and root of your tooth. In this case, a root canal may be the only treatment option for repairing the tooth before a crown fitting procedure.
This explains why proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are so important. When you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, they’re likely to catch an infection or a disease, which usually spreads like fire spreads in a jungle. A small problem that requires a minor fix can soon turn into a major dental issue!
6. Swollen Gum
Swollen gums are a clear indicator of a problem beneath the surface of the tooth. If you notice swelling or experience pain in your gums or see a raised bump on them, it is a sign that you need to see a dentist.
Your dentist will check your gums to see if the swelling is because of inflammation. They may then suggest you come in for a root canal procedure because in some cases, it is the best treatment option when the condition of the inflamed gums doesn’t seem to improve.
7. Pressure Sensitivity
Pressure sensitivity is one of the biggest signs you need a root canal. It indicates damage in the root of your tooth.
So, if you bite an apple or chew a tough piece of steak and can still experience pain or soreness in your teeth after a few days have passed, it might be a sign of increased pressure sensitivity. When you consult a dentist for this problem, they will likely call you in for a root canal!
If you experience any of these signs, don’t delay a consultation with your dentist. The earlier you get a problem treated, the better the chances of immediate recovery!
Contact an expert at East Village dental clinic to get your teeth examined and schedule a seamless, risk-free root canal treatment.