Do you need a root canal?
Toothache is often a sign of serious oral health issues, but figuring out whether you need this often dreaded dental treatment can be tricky, especially in the early stages. Your best bet: go see your dentist.
So, how do you know if you need a root canal? Let’s find out.
Root canals remove bacteria and dying (or dead) tissue inside a tooth to prevent that infection or decay from spreading. Let’s look at the telltale signs that you need one.
Have an aching tooth? It’s a common sign that you may need a root canal.
The pain can be persistent or come and go. You may feel it deep within the bone in the affected area, or it may spread to the surrounding teeth, along with your jaw and face.
However, tooth pain doesn’t necessarily mean you need treatment. Other causes include:
It doesn’t matter what caused the pain. Visit your dentist, especially if it persists. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, you can prevent the issue from becoming worse and heal faster.
Do you experience pain or sensitivity in your teeth or gums each time you consume cold or hot foods and drinks? This dull pain often transforms into a sharp ache, and can indicate that nerves and blood vessels in the tooth are infected. If the pain persists, consult your dentist. They may recommend a root canal, depending on the severity of your condition.
Swelling and tender gums don’t necessarily mean you need a root canal but they might. Swelling generally manifests in different ways. Although it might look normal, you see bulging or can feel it when you touch your gums. Left untreated, it can spread to your face and neck.
Some characteristics of swelling that indicate you need root canal treatment include:
Remember, swelling doesn’t always cause toothache, but it’s better to get it looked after to avoid it getting worse. Dentists typically prescribe antibiotics to treat oral infections and the swelling that comes with them, but you may need a root canal.
Cracked and chipped teeth often require root canals to make sure they remain in optimal health. They tend to leave the nerve underneath exposed, increasing the likelihood of infection. Once the root has become infected, it can enter your bloodstream and spread, which is why a damaged tooth should never be taken lightly. Your best course of action is to visit your dentist as soon you notice a crack or chip. An infection left unchecked requires a root canal to prevent it from spreading.
Have you begun to notice one or more of your teeth turning a few shades darker, or yellowish? This could be the result of poor oral hygiene. Or maybe you’re consuming foods or liquids known to stain teeth, such as coffee, tea or wine.
However, food isn’t the only cause of teeth changing colour. They may also indicate a damaged nerve beneath the tooth’s surface. If you’ve noticed your teeth becoming discoloured, see your dentist. If they see a damaged blood vessel or nerve, they may recommend a root canal to get rid of the root in question and prevent the discolouration from spreading.
All of these symptoms signify a serious infection that should be addressed promptly. If you notice any of them, contact your dentist right away. It’s better to treat dental issues early instead of waiting for them to get worse, which can lead to tooth loss.