Signs That You Might Need a Root Canal

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
January 29, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Although a throbbing tooth is certainly an unmistakable sign of a serious problem with your tooth, it's not the only one, as there are a host of other, more subtle, signs which may indicate that you need a root canal. Root canal therapy, offered by your Charlottesville, VA, dentist, Dr. Michael Tisdelle, can help end your pain and alleviate other negative symptoms if your tooth is inflamed or infected. Read on to learn all of the signs that point towards needing this tooth-saving treatment.


Root canals save at-risk teeth

During root canal therapy, your Charlottesville dentist removes the pulp from your tooth and replaces it with gutta-percha, a rubber-based filling material. He also cleans the inside of the tooth and shapes the root canals that reach from your roots to the crown, or top, of your tooth.

Root canals are necessary if the pulp has become inflamed or infected. Removing the pulp ends your pain but doesn't affect the function of the tooth. If you need a root canal and don't undergo one, you may eventually lose your tooth.


Common signs you may benefit from a root canal

Sustained pain in a tooth is always a cause for concern. It may indicate that you have a cavity or that an infection or inflammation is present in the pulp deep inside your tooth.

Many people assume that pain must be constant or severe if you need a root canal, but that's not always true. Initially, pain may be mild and even be come-and-go. Without treatment, this pain then may become constant.

Does your pain increase when you chew or eat certain foods? If you need a root canal, your tooth will likely feel worse when you put pressure on it or when you consume sweet, hot, or cold foods and beverages.

You may also notice changes in the appearance of your tooth and gums. Teeth that need root canals often darken, with the surrounding gums becoming red and swollen.

An abscess, a serious bacterial infection, can cause severe pain, facial swelling, swollen lymph nodes, a fever, and a pimple-like bump or pus on your gum. Ignoring the signs of an abscess is dangerous, as the infection can spread throughout your body via your bloodstream if you don't receive antibiotic for this dental emergency.


Concerned? Give Us a Call!

Are you concerned about a problem tooth? Call your Charlottesville, VA, dentist, Dr. Michael Tisdelle, at (434) 977-4101 to schedule an appointment.