When you experience pain in your teeth, chances are it’s a sign of a more serious dental issue. However, it doesn’t always mean that a root canal is needed. A root canal treatment is needed when the pulp of the tooth, or the soft tissue inside the canal of the tooth, has become infected or is damaged beyond reasonable repair. The common signs and symptoms of a corrupted tooth may vary, but treatment options are often the same.
What Causes a Root Canal?
A root canal can occur for a number of reasons, but the heart of the problem lies in the penetrating of bacteria on the inside of the tooth. When bacteria hits the root, infection can get worse and pain will be much more prevalent. The reasons for a root canal may be from a damaged, cracked, or displaced tooth, repeated dental treatments on the same tooth, dental decay, or tooth anatomy abnormality.
When Is a Root Canal Needed?
The need for a root canal can be best determined by a qualified dentist, but it’s important to note the possible symptoms that could indicate the need for a root canal.
The following are telltale signs you may need a root canal:
- Pain – Pain doesn’t always warrant a root canal treatment and, in some cases, the tooth might not hurt at all. However, if the pain is present, even if it's minor, it can indicate the need for a root canal. Possible symptoms of pain include pulsing toothaches, pain so severe you can’t eat or sleep, and continuous or intermittent toothaches.
- Swelling and tender gums – Whether it’s a large bump on your gums, or minor tenderness at the gum line, signs of damaged gums often mean you’ll need treatment for a root canal. Swelling and tenderness characteristics may include a gum boil on the tip of the root, swelling that lasts days or months, constant bad breath, and problem teeth that are taller than their surrounding teeth.
- Discoloration – If your tooth turns a dark color, it probably means that some type of damage has occurred to the nerve. In these cases, a root canal is necessary to rid the infection. Discoloration is often visible after some type of trauma or blow to the tooth and may take a few years for the color to appear.
- Lingering sensitivity – It’s normal to feel slight sensitivity when you place your teeth against hot or cold foods; however, if sensitivity is prolonged, chances are you’ll need a root canal due to damaged nerves.
Scheduling Your Root Canal Appointment
Services that specialize in root canals may also be called endodontics. Since a root canal is a specialization within endodontics, a dentist must have a deeper knowledge and expertise in this kind of oral therapy. At Austell Dental Associates, we offer endodontic treatments that provide straightforward solutions with excellent results.
To learn more about our root canal treatment, contact us online or dial (770) 467-3888 to schedule your appointment today!