Tooth pain can make just getting through the day a complete chore. Today, we’ll be talking about the early warning signs that you may need root canal work done. With a little preparation, you can be ready to tackle this procedure in good time.
Signs You May Need An Emergency Root Canal
A root canal procedure is a dental operation that drills into the root of a tooth and is used to save teeth that have become infected or are simply badly decayed.
We’re not going to mince words: they also have a reputation for being painful.
Still, in spite of this, it’s still an extremely important procedure, which can help to prevent major complications later on. Without these procedures, the pulp in a tooth can become infected, which can spread and make a patient extremely sick.
In cases where this kind of ailment is left untreated, the decaying and infected pulp can become so bad that part or all of the jaw has to be removed.
Now, without any more scary preamble, let’s take a closer look at some of the warning signs that you may need to have a root canal done:
Severe Tooth Pain
This kind of pain is triggered by applying pressure of any sort to the tooth or surrounding teeth, for instance, by chewing.
This is a fairly good sign that something is amiss inside of a tooth. If that particular something is a rotten or partially infected tooth pulp, it’s important to find out sooner, rather than later.
Anything from a cracked or broken tooth, to a dead or infected root system, can cause this telltale early warning sign.
Pay close attention, and don’t be swayed if the pain subsides, either. Sudden numbness or a loss of sensation in the area could mean that an infection has simply spread further, putting you even more at risk.
See your dentist, and make sure.
Tender Or Swollen Gums
This symptom can start off as a raised or swollen area in your gums, typically accompanied by the pain described in our previous point.
It doesn’t necessarily only have to be in your gums, though.
Depending on the nature of your tooth pain, swelling can spread from your gums to your jaw, in general, with your cheeks or gums ballooning up as well.
Whatever the underlying cause, gum and face swelling is almost always an early sign that something is wrong. A root canal may or may not be exactly what you need.
Darkened Or Discolored Teeth
If a painful tooth accompanies a marked discoloration or darkening, this can be an indication that the root is dead and the inner pulp is unhealthy.
This doesn’t apply as much to staining or discoloration from regular eating. There’s a certain amount of this that accompanies heavy coffee drinking, for instance, and it’s important not to panic if the discoloration is only minor.
A serious warning sign is when teeth become noticeably darker, along with becoming painful or tender. This is a handy and fairly accurate warning sign that you may need a root canal done.
Even if not, it might be a sign of some other problem. Consult your dentist and have them gauge how bad the tooth is.
Tiny Bumps On Your Gums, In Painful Areas
This can look a little like a pimple or a sore on the gum or inside of your mouth.
Though minor infections can cause pimples and are actually quite common, this can also be an early warning sign that the tooth or gum is badly infected.
So, should you rush off to a dentist the moment you find the smallest bump on your gums?
Well, not necessarily.
This is another example of symptoms that should be looked at alongside other symptoms. Check for sensitivity to pressure or accompanying discoloration, and make a call based on how long the symptoms last.
Hot Or Cold Sensitivity
In the world of oral hygiene, sensitivity to heat and cold can often be as telling as when it’s caused by pressure.
If you become temperature sensitive, with no history with this, you’ll want to pay special attention to how this develops in the next few days. That’s because this can be another symptom of an underlying tooth decay, the kind that might require a root canal.
Tooth sensitivity is often characteristically brief when it flares up. Pay special attention to any pain that lingers for a long time after fluctuations in temperature. Anything that seems longer than usual or longer than reasonable might be telling you something you need to hear.
Likely Signs You Don’t Need a Root Canal
Of course, for every ten signs, there are that you might need to go under the knife, there are five more that might be misleading.
There are some indications you may not need any root canal, even though it might not feel like it.
- Brief pain from hot or cold food or drink, or from eating something sweet. This could be due to a recent dental procedure or just general sensitivity.
- Sharp pains from chewing or biting in specific ways. This is a sign of a cracked tooth or filling. Though you might need root canal work done later, there’s a good chance you won’t right away.
- Sharp, shooting pains. This is a common side effect of metal fillings. If this problem persists, your dentist may simply want to replace the metal filling with a composite resin.
- Grouped tooth pain, with no specific tooth in pain. This symptom often indicates sinusitis. A GP can prescribe something for this, and root canal usually isn’t necessary.
- Pain that manifests only in the mornings. This is a classic indication of grinding or clenching your teeth in your sleep. Dentists may prescribe mouth guards or a series of medications for this.
Root Canal Work: Know The Signs
They say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
There are many ways to read the warning signs that you may or may not need root canal work done. The important thing to keep in mind is that, likely or not, it’s important to find our early.
Consult your dentist about an emergency root canal, if you are concerned about experiencing any of these symptoms. You’ll be happy you did if something is actually wrong.
Looking for a new family dentist? Visit us, and start taking better care of your teeth today.