A root canal is a procedure that is performed on a tooth that is severely decayed or infected. When a cavity in a tooth becomes deep enough that it reaches through the enamel to the inside portion of the tooth where the soft pulp resides, the tooth can become infected. This can also happen as a result of a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth.
Ideally, root canal treatment should be performed before an infection sets in to avoid a painful toothache and to save the tooth. If the root canal is not performed in time, the tooth may need to be extracted.
How do you know if you need a root canal? Since timing is crucial, it’s important to know the common root canal signs and symptoms.
Warning Signs That You May Need a Root Canal
If you notice any of the following root canal signs and symptoms, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment.
- Sensitivity. If you have a specific tooth that is highly sensitive to cold, heat, or sweets, the tooth could be in need of a root canal. This is especially true if the sensitivity lingers after the source has been removed. The soft pulp inside of the root canal contains the nerve sensors for the tooth. When a tooth is overly sensitive, it is an indication that the nerves are exposed, possibly due to a deep cavity or a cracked or chipped tooth.
- Pain. When tooth pain is severe, far beyond just mere sensitivity, your tooth may already be infected. A root canal procedure needs to be done as soon as possible to remove the infected tissue and clean out the inner portion of the tooth. Once the tooth is cleaned out it can be filled up with composite resin, which replaces the soft pulp and nerves from the inside of the tooth to prevent reinfection.
- Discoloration. A tooth that needs a root canal will sometimes turn gray or appear darker in color than your other teeth. This occurs because the soft pulp inside of the tooth that contains blood vessels is not getting an adequate blood supply due to severe infection or because of a trauma to the tooth. A root canal may be able to save the tooth if it is treated as soon as possible.
- Swollen gums. Another sign that a root canal may be needed is swollen gum tissue. Swollen gums are a sign of an infection. The tissue swells as the dead cells are flushed out. You may even notice a bump on your gums that resembles a pimple that oozes pus when pressure is applied. If you notice any of these signs, you most likely have an infected tooth that is in need of a root canal.
- Loose tooth. A tooth that needs a root canal may become loose as the gum tissue pulls away from it. If a permanent tooth becomes loose you should contact your dentist immediately.
What Does the Root Canal Procedure Entail?
Root canal treatment is a routine dental procedure. The dentist will make a small hole in the crown of your tooth to access the inner root canal. The soft pulp inside of the tooth is completely removed and the root canal is flushed out to remove any infection and bacteria. Then the root canal is filled with composite material like what is used to fill a cavity. This prevents the tooth from becoming reinfected. In most cases the tooth will need to be covered with a crown following a root canal to protect what’s left of the tooth.
Creekview Dental Provides Root Canal Treatment
How do you know if you need a root canal? If you notice any of the common signs and symptoms, contact Creekview Dental to schedule an evaluation. We will assess your tooth and determine whether or not root canal treatment is needed.
Call 651-738-8204 or contact us today to schedule an appointment.