In a survey by the American Association of Endodontists in 2022, 87% of Americans regret not taking good care of their teeth. But it’s never too late to start. Many physical symptoms of a dental problem only appear in the advanced stage. For instance, a severe toothache or an obvious cavity indicates a requirement for a root canal. However, in some instances, only an experienced dentist can spot signs and symptoms of root canal treatment. So, how to know if you need a root canal? Even before the problem escalates and avoids additional expenses on treatment.
7 Most Common Signs that Indicate You Require Root Canal
Here are seven common signs for a root canal given below that can help you know when do you need a root canal:
1. Persistent Toothache
Not every tooth pain indicates a need for a root canal. That is why it is challenging to understand whether you need better hygiene practices or dental work in the early stages. An unbearable toothache could be a symptom of a root canal. A sharp and persistent tooth pain – which worsens on eating or biting down – implies you need a root canal as soon as possible. Your tooth pain could be continuous or intermittent.
2. A Chipped or Cracked Tooth
A chipped or cracked tooth is often attributed to biting something hard or an accident. A hairline crack in your tooth is enough for harmful bacteria to enter the inner area of your tooth. And this can gradually cause tooth decay and result in an infection. If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, be alert and get it treated immediately. This will help you avoid both full-blown infection and a need for a root canal.
3. Lingering Sensitivity
Sensitivity to hot or cold foods that do not disappear quickly can damage the nerve within your tooth. When experiencing such sensitivity, you will need a root canal treatment.
4. Tooth Discoloration
Tooth discoloration is common and can be treated with a teeth whitening treatment. However, if you have a badly discolored tooth – gray or black – it is a symptom of severe tooth decay or broken internal tissue. In such cases, you may require root canal treatment. Make sure your tooth discoloration is not problematic by checking with a dentist.
Swelling also does not always indicate a need for a root canal. At the same time, any swelling of the face and jaw is one of the most common signs of a tooth infection. This is especially true when the gums around the hurting tooth swell, and there’s a toothache. Such symptoms may suggest that tooth decay has extended to the gums via the tooth’s root, and it is likely that a dental abscess has formed, requiring a root canal treatment and antibiotics to eliminate the infection.
6. Bump on the Gum
A pimple on your gum means you have a serious infection near a sensitive part of your tooth. It causes painful pockets filled with pus around the tooth root. You might have swelling in your face, lymph nodes, and a fever. You need to see a dentist immediately for antibiotics and a root canal.
7. Loose Tooth
Your tooth becomes loose when it is infected. Factors besides pulpal necrosis (nerve death) may cause it, but it can necessitate a root canal treatment. Tooth movement occurs when acids from dying nerves soften the bone around the dying tooth’s root.
How Does a Root Canal Treatment Help You?
A root canal treatment is a dental procedure that helps remove tooth pain caused by infection or decay. It prevents further decay and a need for tooth extraction. However, it can make your tooth more fragile. During your root canal treatment, the dentist or endodontist:
- Removes bacteria and decay from the tooth pulp, root, and nerve
- Disinfects the area with antibiotics
- Fills the empty roots
- Seals the area to inhibit new decay
In conclusion, if you have a persistent toothache or cracked teeth and other symptoms, they could be signs of a root canal. Though those symptoms do not always indicate a root canal requirement, seeing a dentist in such cases is always better. And to keep your oral health in optimum condition and prevent a root canal, we dare you to follow good hygiene practices.
Frequently Asked Question
1. Is a root canal treatment a painful experience?
Studies have shown that only 17 percent of individuals with a root canal treatment described it as a painful dental experience.
2. Can I wait six months for a root canal?
Delaying a root canal allows the infection to grow stronger and spread, posing a greater risk as it can enter the bloodstream, leading to a more severe problem than a regular dental procedure.