When it comes to root canals, there are a lot of myths hovering around, especially about pain. We understand that undergoing a dental procedure is not easy; however, letting your teeth rot because of discomfort is far worse. Fortunately, this procedure is virtually painless, except for a little pressure, courtesy of anesthetics applied to your oral cavity. So, do you want to know how to identify the need for a root canal? Here’s your answer.
- Severe Tooth Pain
It is perhaps the most vivid indicator that a root canal might be necessary. Experiencing intense pain when applying pressure to your tooth is not something you should let be. This sharp pain is because of undue force on the nerve endings and blood vessels in the pulp chamber, often caused by tooth decay or fractures. While some discomfort is expected during the procedure, its relief far outweighs short-term inconvenience.
- Pimples on Your Gums
Pimples are commonly seen on the skin, but if you start noticing them on your gums, it is a sign of trouble. Such bumps on the gums indicate the leakage of infected fluids into the surrounding tissues. This often indicates an advanced infection or abscess near the tooth’s root.
- Swelling in the Gums
Swollen gums signal an early stage of infection and are often accompanied by inflammation, pointing to disrupted blood flow. If left as it is, it can become more noticeable, affecting the mouth and the junction where gums meet the jaw.
- Gum Discoloration
Infection around the tooth roots also changes the color of the gums. If your gum tissues have turned darker than the rest of your gums, it could be a sign of poor blood flow or plaque at the affected tooth’s pulp layer.
- Tooth Discoloration
A dead tooth appears gray or black and harbors bacteria, leading to infection. Other than that, physical trauma can also cause tooth darkening. In such a case, prompt attention from your dentist is essential to prevent further complications.
- Cracked and Broken Tooth
When a tooth cracks open, it exposes the inner pulp to saliva and serves as a gateway to infection. Quick action through a root canal can spare you from pain by replacing the damaged pulp with a filling or a dental crown.
- Trauma to the Jaw
A sudden impact to the jaw can lead to infections traveling up to the teeth through the naturally formed root canal.
- Extreme Tooth Sensitivity
Sudden sensitivity to hot and/or cold foods is a marker of pulp chamber infection. The nerves in the pulp chamber can overreact to temperature changes, causing stabbing pain.
- Swelling on Your Head and Neck
When you let an infection take its course, it advances into something serious and presents itself in the form of a tooth abscess. This leads to swelling near the affected tooth, indicating potential infection spread to the lymph nodes.
- Tender Gums
Your gums, under normal circumstances, should not feel tender. If they do, consider mentioning this to your dentist.
- Dental Abscesses
An abscess is visible as a dark spot on an X-ray, indicating a hole in the jawbone due to infection. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays are crucial to keep your dental health in check.
Not skipping dental visits biannually is one way to steer clear from troubles getting worse by catching the issues early on. Communicate any signs of discomfort or changes you observe in your teeth. If cavities are behind extreme tooth pain, a painless root canal procedure can be of great help. If you wish to learn more information, do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Fahd Yousaf, DDS, from Howard University, at Precision Smile Dentistry. You can call us at (540) 300 2255 Stafford and (202) 552 0077 Washington or drop by our office too.