When Is A Root Canal Treatment Needed?

Knowing whether you need a root canal treatment can be difficult, especially in the early stages of a problem. You may be wondering if your tooth problem needs better oral hygiene efforts or a dental procedure. As the problem becomes more advanced, the physical symptoms become clearer.

Typically, root canals are used to remove the decay in the tooth pulp if it's inflamed or infected. If you're having issues with one or several of your teeth, here are four signs that a root canal may be needed.  

Swollen Gums

Swollen gums, especially when accompanied by pain, could signify that you need a root canal. The dead tissues from the pulp often release acidic waste products that cause swelling outside the root tip. A small pimple known as a gum boil, abscess, or parulis may also develop on your gum. 

Depending on the infection on your tooth, the gum boil oozes pus, leaving your mouth with a bad-smelling breath and sour taste. Upon examination, your dentist may recommend a root canal to treat the problem. 

Sensitivity to Hot or Cold

A tooth may show sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks without necessarily needing a root canal. For those who need a root canal, the sensitivity lingers long after you have consumed the food or drink. 

Also, the sensitivity may be accompanied by a dull ache that progresses into a sharp pain. In such a case, the nerves or blood vessels in your infected or damaged tooth are to blame; hence, it may be time to get a root canal.

Persistent Pain

Any pain in your teeth or mouth is unpleasant and should be checked by a dentist. But some forms of pain could be a sign of root canal pain. If you experience spontaneous pain that comes like a wave, chances are you have an infected tooth that requires a root canal. 

Also, are there specific positions in which your tooth or gum hurts worse? And when you bend down or lay down, do you feel increased pressure or pain on your tooth? You're likely dealing with root canal pain if you answered 'yes' to both questions. 

Cracked or Chipped Tooth

Your tooth may crack or chip for various reasons, including chewing hard foods, an accident, or getting injured in sports. When that happens, the nerves underneath the tooth surface are exposed, which can lead to an infection. A root canal will be needed to stop the infection or decay. 

If your tooth is injured, but there is no crack or chip, the injury may still cause nerve inflammation and increased sensitivity. Your dentist will examine it to determine the required treatment method. 

Contact a local dentist to learn more about dental root canals.