It is hard to know whether you need a root canal procedure on your own, especially in the early stages of the problem. You may not notice any physical symptoms until the problem reaches its advanced stage, which is the reason regular dental checkups are important. However, if you do not visit a dentist to detect a growing problem before it worsens, you may get an infected tooth, which may necessitate a root canal.
6 Symptoms that may signal the need for root canal therapy
Dentists perform root canal therapy to repair and save severely infected or damaged teeth. If the dental pulp, made up of nerves and blood vessels, is damaged, it will be removed and the chamber will be cleaned and sealed to prevent reinfection. The following are some of the signs that a patient may need root canal treatment:
1. Persistent pain
Pain is one of the first signs that there is a problem with the tooth roots. When regular activities such as drinking and eating cause severe discomfort, a visit to the dentist is necessary. The dental professional will examine the tooth to determine the origin of the pain.
2. Cracked or chipped tooth
The teeth may get chipped or cracked from eating hard foods, participating in contact sports, sustaining an injury or complications after a dental procedure. If a tooth is cracked, it may expose the nerves and make the tooth vulnerable to infection. Without prompt treatment, the infection may spread and cause pain.
3. Tooth sensitivity
Another sign that a person might need a root canal is tooth sensitivity. If the tooth hurts when taking hot or cold drinks, then there is a problem. A dull ache can quickly worsen into a sharp, severe pain.
4. Swollen gums
Gum swelling often means there is an infection around the gums or tooth roots. If the gums are inflamed or swollen, the dentist will check whether tooth infection is the issue. Sometimes, a root canal may be recommended to save the tooth and stop infection spread.
5. Tooth discoloration
The tooth may become discolored due to poor hygiene, consuming teeth-staining foods and drinks, or nerve damage in the inner layer of the tooth. If the infected nerve and blood vessels are the cause of tooth discoloration, the dentist will recommend endodontic therapy to get rid of the decayed tissues.
6. Severe tooth decay
Once decay reaches the core of the tooth, no oral hygiene measure can reverse the damage. Leaving a cavity unfilled will allow the decay to extend to the nerve and root of the tooth. In that case, a root canal will probably be the only way to save the tooth from removal. The affected tooth will get a dental crown afterward.
The bottom line
If you think you have a dental problem that might require a root canal, there is no reason to panic. An experienced and qualified dentist will make you comfortable during the procedure. After the treatment, the tooth will be free of infection and pain so you can return to your normal routine.
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