5 Warning Signs That You Might Need a Root Canal

5 Warning Signs That You Might Need a Root Canal

Nobody wants to hear that they need to have a root canal, but it’s a necessary procedure to maintain your oral health. A lot of dental issues happen under the gums or inside the surface of the tooth, which means they have advanced by the time noticeable symptoms occur. If you notice any of these five warning signs in yourself, you should contact a dentist right away, because you might need a root canal.

1. Persistent Dental Pain

Toothaches are pretty common, but they should not be considered normal. Whether it’s mild, throbbing, or excruciating, pain in your teeth is a sign that something is wrong. While it’s not always indicative of needing a root canal, experiencing this symptom is usually a good reminder that a visit to the dentist is needed. Look for sudden changes in the type of pain you’re experiencing, such as a sharp pain when biting down on food, which is an indication that you might need a root canal.

2. Discolored Tooth

People rarely have naturally white teeth, so it’s possible to have stained teeth and still be healthy. However, a tooth that suddenly changes color and is a noticeably different shade from the rest of your teeth could indicate severe tooth decay. Once a tooth begins this process, it will continue to decay without stopping, putting the health of your surrounding teeth and gums at risk.

3. Swelling in the Face or Jaw

This is a telltale symptom of a dental abscess, which happens when an infection spreads from an infected tooth into the surrounding tissue. You may also notice a pimple-like bump on the gums near the affected tooth. Some people may experience swelling in the side of their neck if the infection has spread to their lymph nodes. Without treatment, the infection can reach the blood vessels and travel to your vital organs. In this case, a root canal and a prescription for antibiotics would be the only options for treating the infection.

4. Temperature Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth can happen for numerous reasons, including poor hygiene, worn enamel, and simple genetics. If your mouth is otherwise healthy, many dentists will simply recommend flossing more often and using a specially formulated toothpaste to combat sensitivity. However, look out for sudden, unexplained sensitivity or sensitivity that gets worse, which could mean one or more of your teeth are damaged in a way that would require a root canal.

5. Cracked or Chipped Teeth

Teeth that have been cracked or chipped from an accident may provide more entry points for bacteria, putting you at risk of developing an infection. This type of injury can also damage the nerves in your teeth, resulting in pain. In both of these cases, you would need immediate intervention and possibly a root canal.

Oral Health Matters

Root canals are unpleasant but relatively comfortable with the technology available today. The best way to avoid this procedure is to brush and floss daily and visit your dentist for regular check-ups.

Preventive dental care plays a vital role in avoiding the need for root canals. Daily oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing, are your first line of defense against tooth decay and infections that may lead to root canal treatment. Additionally, regular dental check-ups can help identify dental issues at an early stage, allowing for less invasive treatments and reducing the likelihood of more extensive procedures like root canals.