7 Signs That Root Canal Therapy Is Needed

7 Signs That Root Canal Therapy Is Needed

June 26, 2023

Do you have persistent tooth pain? Chances are that your tooth is decayed or infected. In such a case, your dentist can recommend a root canal procedure to remove the infection and save your tooth. Knowing the signs indicating the need for a root canal can help you decide when to seek prompt dental care to address your issue and promote overall good health. This guide discusses what root canal therapy is and common root canal infection symptoms to watch out for.

What is Root Canal Therapy?

A root canal is a dental procedure for removing an infected pulp. The pulp is the tooth’s innermost layer that hosts the tooth’s blood vessels, nerves, and other connective tissues. When the enamel is destroyed, bacteria can enter the tooth, infecting the pull tissues to cause decay and inflammation.

A root canal is needed to remove the decayed or infected tissues to stop the infection from spreading and preserve your natural tooth. Without a root canal, the infection would continue to eat up the tooth’s structure, eventually leading to tooth loss, bone loss, and other complications.

Signs You Need Root Canal Symptoms:

Below are common signs and symptoms that your tooth is infected and you might need a root canal:

  1. Tooth pain

Mild to severe tooth pain is one of the most common root canal symptoms. The pain can be constant or recurring and often worsens when biting, chewing, or brushing. Visiting a dentist sooner can help alleviate the pain and prevent further damage to your tooth.

  1. Prolonged sensitivity

Do you feel a sharp pain or sensation when enjoying your favorite ice cream or drinking hot beverages like coffee? Chances are that your tooth’s pulp is exposed, and you might need a root canal. Mild sensitivity might indicate that your enamel is damaged. Seeking immediate care can help avoid the need for a root canal.

  1. Tooth discoloration

When a tooth pulp is infected or decayed, it can release toxins that cause your tooth to turn brown, black, or gray. While tooth discoloration can be caused by other factors like decay, visiting your dentist can determine whether a root canal is needed and provide the necessary treatment.

  1. Swollen gums or face

Infected pulp tissues can release toxins that inflame the soft tissues around the tooth, causing your gums and face to swell. The swelling can be tender on the touch and cause significant discomfort eating, brushing, or speaking.

  1. Tooth movements or change in bite

When pulp infection isn’t treated promptly, it can damage or inflame the surrounding tissues like the gums and bone, causing tooth mobility or a change in bite or fit of dental restorations like dentures. Visit a dentist right away for treatment.

  1. Persistent bad breath

Bad breath can be caused by gum disease, tooth decay, dry mouth, or food. However, you might have a root canal infection if you notice a painful tooth or gums accompanied by a persistent foul smell or taste. Seeking prompt dental care is essential to address the condition and improve your breath and oral health.

  1. Dental abscess

An abscess is a pus-filled pocket or pimple that forms on the gums near a painful tooth. Sometimes it can be accompanied by fever, severe pain, bad breath, and swelling. Abscess often indicates an infection in the gums or teeth. Either way, prompt dental care is essential to address the abscess and prevent infection.

What to Expect During a Root Canal

If a root canal treatment is necessary, below is what you can expect during the procedure:

  • Anesthesia. Since a root canal can cause significant pain or discomfort, the dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth with a local unaesthetic to prevent pain.
  • Removing the infected tissues. The dentist drills through the tooth to access the pulp chamber. Then, they use small files to remove the infected or decayed tissues from the tooth.
  • Cleaning and shaping the canals. To eliminate all the infection and other debris, the dentist uses specialized tools and irrigation solutions to clean, disinfect, and shape the canal system.
  • Filling the canals. The dentist seals the canals with a gutta-percha biocompatible filling material to prevent future infections.
  • Temporary filling. The dentist will seal the drilled part of the tooth with a temporary filling to prevent new infections.
  • Permanent restoration. The dentist can reinforce the tooth with a permanent filling or crown for strength and protection.

Visit Our Office for Root Canal Therapy in Philadelphia, PA.

If left untreated for extended periods, a tooth infection can spread to the surrounding structure, leading to gum disease, bone loss, tooth loss, and other complications. Therefore, prompt care is essential to stop the infection and prevent further complications. For more information about root canal therapy, contact Elegance in Dentistry.

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