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Signs You Might Need a Root Canal
Figuring out if you need a root canal is not always a straightforward process since many of the physical symptoms do not begin to occur until the problem reaches its more advanced stages. Minor toothaches or sensitivity might go away with improved oral hygiene, but more serious issues require dental work. Regular visits to the dentist are the surest way to ensure oral problems that require root canals are detected early.
How root canal treatment works
Root canal treatment is used to repair teeth that have become infected or badly damaged. It can prevent the need for an extraction. When the contents of the pulp chamber of a tooth become compromised, the patient will typically experience severe toothaches. Cleaning out the contents of the pulp chamber helps to bring such toothaches to an end and save the affected tooth.
Here are some signs that might indicate that you need a root canal:
1. Persistent pain
A toothache that keeps coming back is a sign there is something wrong with a tooth's root. Patients should see a dentist immediately if the pain is intense enough to prevent them from performing normal activities, like chewing without pain or getting effective sleep at night.
The dentist will evaluate the tooth to determine if a root canal is the best solution. The dentist might also be able to treat the tooth with antibiotics.
2. A cracked, chipped or broken tooth
A tooth can become chipped as a result of hard contact during sports, a damaged dental restoration or eating hard foods. A severe break can leave the contents of the pulp chamber exposed. This often leads to pain as air and saliva make contact with the nerves in the tooth.
The pulp chamber being compromised leaves the tooth vulnerable to infection. Dentists will often perform a root canal to save such a tooth and protect it with a crown.
3. Lingering sensitivity to hot and cold foods
Tooth sensitivity is another sign that a tooth might need a root canal. This is especially true if the sensitivity is accompanied by pain. That is often a sign that the tooth has been infected. Root canal therapy can bring such sensitivity to an end.
4. Swollen gums
Swollen gums are often a sign that something is going on underneath the gums. Pimples appearing on the gums might be a sign of an infection. If the inflammation persists, a root canal is typically needed to bring the patient relief and to prevent the infection from spreading further.
5. A dark grayish tooth
Tooth discoloration can be caused by the tannins in the foods and beverages a person consumes, but it can also be a symptom of tooth decay. When decay makes its way into the pulp chamber, the tooth begins to change to a dark shade of gray over time.
Get a root canal today
Call or visit our Red Bluff clinic to learn more about how root canals can help to save damaged teeth.
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