A root canal can successfully remove infected tooth pulp and preserve the functionality of a tooth. While a root canal can be an investment, it can be a worthwhile endeavor. Here are three signs that you may need a root canal to keep an eye out for.
Most people discover that they need a root canal when they experience severe pain that persists, especially if pressure is put on the affected tooth through chewing. Over-the-counter pain relievers only provide a limited amount of relief against the severe pain associated with infected tooth pulp. In addition, it is unlikely that pain from a deeply infected tooth will go away on its own. While there are other causes for a toothache, any severe pain should be evaluated by a dentist as soon as possible.
Swollen gums can be a telltale sign of an infected tooth. Combined with pain, swollen gums can signal the need for a root canal. However, swollen gums can be a symptom of other things, including gum disease. Only a knowledgeable dentist will be able to tell the difference. Your gums should not be noticeably swollen if they are healthy. There are a variety of health conditions aside from gum disease and tooth infection that can cause swollen gums. Some are more severe than dental decay. For this reason, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist to rule out any concerns.
Tooth discoloration can be a sign of severe tooth decay and upcoming tooth loss. If you notice that one specific tooth becomes more gray or darkened in color, it is possible that the pulp inside the tooth has become severely infected. This is a relatively late sign that something is wrong. If your tooth changes color and it is unrelated to recent dietary intake, such as wine or coffee, it is time to discuss your oral health concerns with a dentist.
With regular dental care, most instances of tooth decay can be caught before the tooth needs a root canal. Despite its bad reputation in TV shows and movies, you should not experience any pain during your root canal. Many patients are able to manage the discomfort they experience after undergoing a root canal with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Root canals are extremely common. Many teens and adults all over the country have already undergone the procedure to save their teeth. Whenever possible, a root canal is preferred over a tooth extraction or dental implant. The ability to maintain a natural tooth over removing it is a strong reason to opt for a root canal at the first sign that you need one.