No one really looks forward to having root canal therapy performed, but it’s important to recognize when it might be necessary. If you delay treatment for too long or leave the issue unidentified, the consequences could be a permanent loss of teeth and an infection that spreads to other parts of your body. So how will you know if root canal therapy is truly necessary? The only way to know for sure is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bishop so that she can perform a thorough examination. That said, the following symptoms should be taken as very strong warning signs that you need a checkup as soon as possible.
One of the surest signs of needing a root canal is tooth pain that never really goes away. This might mean discomfort that occasionally fades but always returns; of course, it could also refer to pain that’s constantly present. Tooth pain can have a variety of causes, including gum disease, cavities, impacted teeth, and damaged fillings. Regardless of whether a root canal is appropriate or not, you should have the pain diagnosed as soon as possible.
If your tooth suddenly hurts whenever you eat something warm or drink a cold glass of water, it might point to an infection of the blood vessels and nerves inside your tooth. Root canal therapy may very well be the best solution, especially if the sensitivity lingers for an extended period of time (even after the hot or cold object is removed).
Swollen gums are a common sign of an oral infection; it’s often the result of the acidic waste products of dead pulp tissues. If an infection has become particularly advanced, a pimple known as an abscess might form on your gums.
When the tissue inside a tooth is damaged or starts to break down, you’ll notice that it takes on a grayish-black appearance. Naturally, this is easier to notice with the front teeth. A darkened tooth indicates that the pulp might have died or is currently dying and thus needs to be removed.
Has your tooth been visibly broken or cracked? If so, there’s a good chance that the bacteria in your mouth now have access to the pulp. Also, the nerves of the tooth might have been injured. Both of these situations might lead to root canal therapy.
Infected teeth may eventually feel looser in your mouth. Once the nerves inside the teeth have died, the acidic waste that bacteria produce can soften the surrounding bone tissue.