Do I Need A Root Canal? Dental Signs and Symptoms

The American Association of Endodontists describes a root canal is a procedure that removes bacteria from the root canal of a tooth that has become infected. The purpose of undergoing a root canal at the dentist is to prevent your tooth from becoming infected again or potentially needing to have the tooth extracted.

During your root canal, one of the doctors at Advanced Endodontics removes the inflamed or infected tooth from inside your tooth. Your endodontist also cleans the inside of the tooth, adds filling material, and covers it with a dental cap to protect it from further infection. In this blog, we cover the most typical indications that you could benefit from scheduling a root canal at Advanced Endodontics.

Common Signs of Needing a Root Canal

Maybe you have had a toothache in the past and it went away after you took a few non-prescription pain relievers. An obvious sign that you are dealing with a tooth infection rather than a toothache is that the pain is stubbornly persistent. Even if you feel better for a few days at a time, the pain always returns and is often worse than it was previously.

Most people feel pain deep in the roots of a tooth when they are experiencing an infection. You can also experience what dentists call referred pain, which means the discomfort has spread to your jaws, face, or other nearby teeth. Regardless of your specific pattern of pain, it is important to visit your regular dentist to determine the cause. You could be dealing with any of the following instead of or in addition to root canal pain:

  • Cavity that requires filling
  • Damaged filling
  • Gum disease
  • Impacted tooth that has developed an infection
  • Sinus infection

Although chronic tooth pain is the primary symptom of needing a root canal, it is far from the only one.

Your Tooth Feels Loose

When the nerves in your teeth and gums start to die, it becomes difficult for them to support a tooth and hold it firmly in place. Nerve death produces acid waste that softens the bone surrounding the roots of the infected tooth. The result is that your tooth feels loose when you touch it.

Your Tooth Appears Discolored

Infected pulp in a tooth causes tissues to break down, leading to a gray or black appearance of the tooth. You may not notice that your tooth has taken on a different color if it is one of your back teeth. We recommend inspecting your teeth and gums often, especially if you have any other symptoms.

Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Foods and Drinks

If you experience pain or sensitivity when eating or drinking something not served at room temperature, it could indicate an infection in the root canal of one of your teeth. Typically, eating or drinking something hot or cold causes a sharp pain or a dull aching sensation. Various oral health problems could cause tooth sensitivity, but one way to know you may need a root canal is when the discomfort lingers long after you have finished your food or drink.

Gums Appear Swollen Around the Tooth

The appearance of swollen gums around a tooth could indicate that you need a root canal. Your gums can feel painful to the touch or throb continuously. Acidic waste from dead tissues inside the pulp of your tooth is the usual cause of swollen gums when an infection or inflammation is present.

You may notice a small growth that looks like a pimple on the outside of your gums, which may start oozing pus from the infection inside your tooth. Although you may not always see the pus, you can make an educated guess that the oozing of infected pus is taking place when you cannot get rid of an unpleasant taste in your mouth. You could also develop chronic bad breath despite brushing your teeth frequently and using dental mouthwash.

Schedule a Dental Health Appointment and Procedure With Advanced Endodontics

We do not require patients to obtain a referral from their primary dentist to visit us, although that is how many of our patients first hear about us. If you have chronic tooth pain or any of the other symptoms indicated, please contact us at 352.404.5550 or complete this form to request a call back from our friendly staff.

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