5 Signs You May Need A Root Canal

A root canal is a restorative treatment that is used to cure a tooth infection and revive the health of the tooth. During root canal therapy, we scrape out the infected dental pulp, clean the tooth’s canals, and then fill the inside of the tooth with gutta-percha, a permanent filling. 

Weakened rear molars may also require a dental crown to protect them from further damage. Read on in this blog from Smileplicity Dentistry to learn about the 5 signs that indicate you need a root canal.

1. Pain

When you have a tooth infection, it’s because of inflammation and bacteria penetrating the inside soft layer of your tooth, known as the dental pulp. This layer of your tooth contains connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. 

Your nerves are responsible for sensation and can be hypersensitive in response to inflammation and bacteria. This is why a tooth infection can be incredibly painful. The pain may come and go or be constant.

However, pain is not always a present symptom when the tooth is infected. If the infection is left untreated, the nerves can die, resulting in no sensation but the infection is still active and needs to be treated.

2. Tooth Sensitivity 

As previously mentioned, your tooth is hypersensitive because of bacteria affecting the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. This is especially the case when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks. 

If you experience intense tooth sensitivity after eating foods at extreme temperatures and the sensitivity lingers for a long time after you’ve eaten the foods, this is a big sign that you need a root canal. It suggests that the dentin layer of your tooth has been exposed.

3. Swelling

Swelling can be a sign of infection or some other oral health problem. In a tooth infection, swelling can occur in the gums near the infected tooth as well as in the face and jaw. This is a result of inflammation and acid waste. Usually, when there’s swelling, there is also an abscess, which is a pus-filled pimple on the gums. Abscesses are a surefire sign of an infection.

4. Tooth Discoloration

Usually, a tooth infection can cause discoloration of the tooth, especially the darkening of the tooth that causes a gray or black appearance. If your tooth has changed color, that’s a sign that the pulp inside of the tooth is dying because it no longer has a supply of blood and other nutrients. 

Tooth infections cut off the blood supply to the pulp and the longer it is left untreated, the greater risk of pulp death. At this point, the infection has penetrated deep through the dental pulp and needs urgent treatment to save the tooth.

5. Damaged or Loose Tooth

An infection can be caused by other disturbances other than tooth decay. If you suffer from dental trauma or an oral injury, this can also cause inflammation of the dental pulp or expose the tooth’s root and cause bacteria to infect the pulp, or an injury that doesn’t chip or crack the tooth can still cause damage to the dental pulp. 

A crack that runs up to the gum line and an exposed nerve is a big sign of an infection. Over time, your tooth may also feel loose. Loose teeth can be caused by the nerves in the teeth dying which softens the bone around the tooth’s root.

Have Any of These Symptoms? Contact Our Raleigh Office Right Away

Having signs of a tooth infection is a serious dental emergency. You should contact us at Smileplicity Dentistry right away to schedule an emergency appointment in Raleigh with Dr. Daiana Atari. If caught early enough, we can save your tooth from extraction, prevent the spread of the infection, and prevent serious complications like sepsis.