5 Signs That Might Signal A Root Canal

There are few words in the English language that can strike fear into the hearts of practically everyone.

Among those are the dreaded ones spoken by your dentist.

“You have a cavity.”

“You need a crown.”

“You have gingivitis.”

Or perhaps, the most dreaded of all: “You need a root canal.”

For many reasons, root canals are perhaps the most feared in the dental world.

Not only can they be expensive, but also they require Novocain and a good deal of pain relievers afterward.

While some root canals require complete removal and implantation of the tooth, others can be saved.

Knowing the signs that signal a root canal can help save you from unnecessary time, pain, and money.

Tooth Sensitivity

To some degree, as we grow older, we experience some level of tooth sensitivity. This is due in large part to our enamel growing weaker and exposing our teeth to the outer elements. Things like coffee, acidic food and drink, and not brushing with the proper toothbrush (hard bristles can do more damage than good) can lead to weakened enamel. However, while some sensitivity is normal, a lot of sensitivity is not. Typically, your teeth will be more prone to reacting to cold foods and drinks. When your teeth start reacting to warm then you have reason for concern. Additionally, if you’re sensitivity is concentrated to one specific tooth you’ll want to see a doctor immediately. Where tooth sensitivity throughout your entire mouths might be a sign of poor enamel, a concentrated pain may be more serious.


Severe Tooth Pain

On the tail of tooth sensitivity is tooth pain. While the two might not seem different, they actually are. One thing to keep in mind while dealing with tooth and mouth pain is that not all pains are created equal. If you’re experiencing a small twinge when you chew, then you might just have a sensitive tooth. If, however, you’re experiencing constant pain that is poignant in not only a specific tooth but in your gum-line as well then you should make an appointment to get it looked at. The pain from a root canal is caused by the nerve in the pulp of the tooth becoming damaged, causing extreme tooth pain. Test the tooth out, checking to see if the gum and tooth reacts to being bit down on, pressed against, or touched. If your pain reacts and is searing, then you may need a root canal.

Swollen Gums

Swollen gums are a fairly normal event. They can be caused by gingivitis, food particles caught in the gum-line, and even cuts or tears from hard food or otherwise. However, swollen gums can also be a sign of something more serious. If you experience swollen gums along the base of a single tooth, then you might have cause for concern. When the swelling is sudden, rather than gradual, then you likely have a tooth that is inflamed or infected. Consider when you noticed the swelling and whether or not you are experiencing any of the other symptoms that might be representative of a root canal before deciding on whether or not to make an appointment.

Gum Pimples

Yes, canker sores are actually fairly common and can be caused by acid or hot liquids. However, they are not the same thing as gum pimples. Gum pimples are similar to regular pimples in that they are caused by a buildup of bacteria beneath the skin that try to exit via the skin. In the case of an injured tooth, the bacteria are caused by the infection in the tooth’s pulp. This in turn forms small white bumps along the gum-line that is similar to pimples on your skin. Take care to notice whether the pimples form in a specific area, are reoccurring, or are accompanied by any other side effects that may point you toward needing a root canal.

Tooth Discoloration

To be fair, tooth discoloration can be caused by a number of things. Namely, coffee, soda, and tea are prime causes of tooth discoloration in the common person. Not to mention, as you become older and the enamel on your teeth wears down, it becomes easier and easier to see your tooth become discolored. However, when your tooth becomes yellowed and discolored suddenly and is significantly different than your teeth, you should be concerned. When the pulp becomes infected and even begins to die then it might become discolored. This is why it is important to make sure that you take discoloration seriously and keep an eye out for other symptoms as well.

Are you afraid you might need a root canal?

Contact our Escondido dentist office to see how we can help!