While the phrase root canal strikes fear in the hearts of many, it’s actually a very common procedure. In fact, there are about 15 million done every year just in the US.
A basic root canal severs the pain-sensing nerve in the tooth, as well as getting rid of any infected tissue. Of course, you must realize you need a root canal before you can get the work done.
While a dentist will make the final determination, keep reading for 5 telltale signs you need a root canal.
Probably the least telltale of the signs you need a root canal is simple pain. The pain might be intermittent, such as when you chew. Sometimes, though, you will experience constant pain from the tooth.
The pain can also turn up on a spectrum. For some, the pain is mild or moderate. For others, the pain is quite intense.
Any ongoing tooth pain is a cause for concern and warrants a visit with your dentist.
Some people live with sensitive teeth their entire lives. For most people, though, tooth sensitivity is an abnormal experience.
If you develop a sensitive tooth, such as when consuming hot or cold drinks, or the tooth sensitivity persists for more than a few days, it can mean there’s a problem with the root.
3. Tooth Discoloration
You can get tooth discoloration from drinking coffee and tea or from smoking. If a tooth becomes discolored when it’s never been a problem before, that’s a telltale sign you may need a root canal. The discoloration is often an indication of damage to the root or blood vessel.
4. Chipped or Cracked Tooth
A chipped or cracked tooth by itself isn’t a sign you need a root canal. Unfortunately, cracks or chips can let an infection spread in your tooth. A chipped or cracked tooth in combination with other symptoms definitely calls for a dentist visit and possibly a root canal.
5. Swollen Gums
If you spot gum swelling near one tooth, that’s another telltale marker that you might have a problem with a tooth root. It can indicate a local infection.
Bear in mind that gum swelling near one tooth is a different matter than all of your gums being swollen. If your gums are swollen in general, it can mean you’re dealing with a different problem, such as gingivitis or periodontitis.
Parting Thoughts on Signs You Need a Root Canal
The above signs you need a root canal should serve as guideposts for you. Any individual sign can indicate some other kind of problem.
If you experience more than one of those symptoms, however, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. Even minor problems with easy fixes can snowball into costly and painful procedures if left untended.
Arrow Smile Dental provides general, cosmetic, and orthodontic dentistry in the Corvina and Northridge areas. Worried you need a root canal? Contact Arrow Smile Dental and schedule an appointment today.