4 Common Signs that You Might Need a Root Canal

4 Common Signs that You Might Need a Root Canal

May 15, 2018  | IN UPCOMING EVENTS

In case you didn’t know, our mouths are full of bacteria, which sometimes can get out of control. Often, we can keep it in check with a daily regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash

paired with regular dental visits. If bacteria start to build up on teeth or under the gum line, the infection can spread, leading to issues like cavities, gum disease, and in severe cases, the infected pulp inside the tooth that requires a root canal.

A root canal treatment is a procedure by which a dentist drills into your tooth to reach the pulp, removes the soft tissue, sanitizes the canals, and fills and seals the tooth to protect against further infection. Dentists work hard to ensure that patients feel no discomfort during the procedure, and the treatment could help save an infected tooth, which can survive even without pulp.

Of course, you first need a diagnosis that your pulp is infected, which requires a visit to the dentist. How do you know if you need to see your dentist outside your regular cleaning schedule? How can you tell if something is wrong? Here are a few common signs that you might need a root canal treatment.

1. Pain

The pulp of your tooth is soft tissue under the hard, outer layers of dentin and enamel. The pulp contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves; when it becomes infected, it will eventually cause pain.

Many patients will start to notice sensitivity first, but they might not think much of it. As we age, it’s natural to develop some sensitivity to cold or hot liquids, or when biting down on hard foods, for example. This is because enamel can weaken over time. However, infection is something different. If you notice sensitivity localized to one tooth, there’s a good chance you have some form of infection, either from a cavity or infected pulp.

If this condition goes untreated, you will probably feel more severe pain. This could be an ongoing ache, shooting pains when you bite down on the tooth, or both. As the infection advances, you might feel pain around the gum line and the jaw where the tooth sits. You should contact your dentist when you experience unusual tooth pain to schedule an examination.

2. Swelling

An infected tooth will impact surrounding tissues, namely the gum tissue, in direct contact with the tooth. If you notice that gum tissue surrounding a particular tooth becomes red, swollen, and tender, it could be a sign that you need a root canal, whether you’ve started to notice sensitivity or pain in the tooth or not. It could also be a sign of gum disease, in which case you also need to see your dentist, but gum disease more often affects a large swath of gum tissue rather than centering on a specific tooth.

3. Gum abscesses

Infection in the mouth will spread, often to the nearest tissue first. Swollen, tender gums are a side effect of the infection in your tooth, and there will be further problems if you

don’t seek treatment. You might notice painful, pimple-like spots on the affected gum tissue as the infection progresses. These abscesses are filled with fluid and may leak pus that smells and tastes bad.

Naturally, the appearance of such abscesses should be cause for concern at any time. When paired with other symptoms of infected pulp, such as sensitivity and pain in one tooth, you should seek professional help and undergo a root canal and related treatment (like a course of antibiotics) if necessary.

4. Tooth discoloration

Tooth discoloration could indeed be related to several factors. Drinking beverages like coffee or soda, smoking, and taking certain medications (like tetracycline) could cause teeth to become discolored. Of course, the chances of these factors affecting only a single tooth are slim.

However, when the tooth’s pulp becomes infected and eventually starts to die, it could cause the surrounding dentin to begin decomposing. This portion of the tooth will begin to visibly darken, causing your tooth to become discolored.

When this happens, your tooth is likely in pretty bad shape, and if you take no action, you risk losing the tooth. Whether you’re experiencing unusual sensitivity or tooth pain, swelling and tenderness of the gums, gum abscesses, tooth discoloration, or other symptoms of infected pulp, you need to see your dentist immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

Dental Implants

A Dental implant is a tooth made of a titanium post with a replacement tooth (crown) attached to the top. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth, anchor a dental bridge, or a full arch of teeth.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you’ve been told that you need to have one or more of your wisdom teeth removed by our dentist, you may be wondering, especially if you are not currently experiencing any painful symptoms. So, if you want your wisdom teeth removal visit StarWhite Dental.