Many people cringe at the thought of having to get a root canal. However, this procedure is often the only way to remove decay and get rid of an infection in a tooth.

During a root canal, a dentist drills into the problem tooth and removes the pulp and nerve. This allows them to thoroughly clean the inside of the tooth and seal it.

This process is much more invasive than getting a surface filling for a minor cavity. If you need a root canal, it’s important to take care of it right away. And if you don’t know if you need one, you should check out for more information.

Let’s go over nine commons signs you need a root canal below.

1. Hot and Cold Sensitivity

Does an area of your mouth hurt when exposed to either heat or cold? This is a telltale sign you have deep decay that will require a root canal.

Most people experience this type of sensitivity when drinking liquids. Things like coffee or cold water will trigger the pain.

You may also have sensitivity when eating hot foods. In extreme cases, the pain could occur when breathing in cool air.

Depending on the severity of the damage, the sensation will either be a dull ache or shooting pain. Get to a doctor right away for an examination.

2. Pain That Doesn’t Go Away

Prolonged pain is another common sign you may require a root canal. Unlike sensitivity that’s only triggered by heat or cold, this pain is constant.

This type of pain often has a throbbing sensation. It may go away for short periods of time only to return again in the same location.

You may feel the pain in your jaw, face, or throughout your mouth. There’s also a chance the pain could cause headaches. If you experience this, there’s a chance you have an infected or damaged tooth that needs attention immediately.

3. Inflamed Gums

It’s common for the gums around an infected or damaged tooth to become swollen. This inflammation may come and go or remain consistent. You may experience pain, especially when brushing or eating.

It’s important to keep in mind that inflamed gums could indicate a number of dental issues. However, if you know a particular tooth has an issue, swollen gums mean the problem has advanced.

When a tooth gets infected, a puss-type liquid must exit the area. This liquid irritates the gums and causes inflammation. They may also become swollen after impact to the mouth that causes tooth damage.

4. A Broken Tooth

Chips and cracks in a tooth can result from several things. Eating hard foods or sustaining an injury are the most common causes.

When this happens, the nerve of the broken tooth becomes exposed. This leads to an infection, which can spread if not treated quickly.

Unfortunately, chips or cracks can go unnoticed. If this happens, you may start having symptoms of an infection, such as pain and inflammation.

If the damage is severe, an oral surgeon may need to perform an extraction. You’ll require an implant or bridge to permanently solve the issue.

5. Discoloration

Things like coffee, tea, red wine, or cigarettes can cause tooth discoloration. It can also occur as a result of poor dental hygiene.

However, if you notice sudden discoloration in one or two teeth, this is a sign of infection. In these cases, the tooth will have a gray or black appearance.

This type of tooth discoloration can happen after an injury to a tooth or advanced decay. Regardless of the reason, get to the dentist once you notice an issue.

6. A Dental Abscess

Another common sign of an infection is a dental abscess on the gum surrounding the tooth. These resemble a pimple or sore.

An abscess acts as the drainage point for pus related to the infection. This means you’ll probably notice discharge around the abscess. It will have a sour flavor and make your breath smell bad.

A dentist will need to perform a root canal to eliminate the infection. After several days, the abscess will start healing.

7. A Loose Tooth

Sustaining an injury to your jaw or mouth isn’t the only cause of a loose tooth. An infected tooth can also start to move slightly.

This happens due to the excretion of acidic liquid associated with the infection. This material can cause the bone surrounding the root of the tooth to soften. When this happens, the tooth becomes more mobile.

A dentist can perform a root canal to get rid of the infection and remove the decay.

This reverses the softening of the bone and makes the tooth secure again.

8. Sensitivity While Chewing

Eating puts pressure on your teeth. If this pressure starts to cause pain in one tooth, there’s a chance you need a root canal.

This type of sensitivity may only occur from time to time at first and then grow more frequent. Soon, you’ll notice pressure sensitivity every time you eat. You’ll also feel pain when pushing on the tooth with your finger.

Sensitivity while eating can radiate to your jaw. It may start out as a dull ache and become sharper over time.

This sensitivity is caused by an infection or advanced decay. A dentist will need to perform an x-ray to determine the issue.

9. Advanced Tooth Decay

If you’re aware of a cavity you’ve had for a while? Unless you get it filled, it can eventually lead to advanced decay. Over time, the decay will make it to the root of the tooth, requiring a root canal.

You can’t brush away a cavity. Regular brushing and good oral hygiene may slow the spread of it, but eventually, you’ll need a dental procedure.

This is why regular dental checkups are so important. Getting a cavity filled right away prevents you from needing a root canal.

Advanced tooth decay will cause sensitivity, pain, and infection. Your doctor will need to perform a root canal right away.

Don’t Ignore The Signs You Need a Root Canal

One of the best ways to maintain good oral health is to practice responsible hygiene every day. It also helps to know the symptoms of a serious issue.

Remember these signs you need a root canal and see your dentist if you notice any of them.

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