The mouth is a sensitive place that is very susceptible to injury, so there are few people who make it their whole lives without at least one cavity or struggle with sensitivity. However, the signs and pain that indicate the need for a root canal are more intense and concerning than a standard cavity. If you’re experiencing pain beyond what is normal, you might need a root canal. Here is how you will know.
Major Signs You Need a Root Canal
A root canal becomes necessary when a tooth is undergoing decay or infection so serious that it threatens the overall life of the tooth. Signs that this is happening include severe pain when eating or applying pressure to the tooth, intense sensitivity to hot or cold that tends to linger, swelling of the gums near the area in question, and possibly an unusual darkening of the tooth. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible, before the tooth has time to decay beyond the point of repair. Ignoring signs of a damaged and dying tooth will leave no other option but extraction.
How a Root Canal Helps to Ease Pain
The root canal process has evolved over the years and is now relatively simple and painless for the patient, despite its bad reputation. When you undergo a root canal, your dentist will remove the infected pulp and nerves from your damaged tooth, clean out and sanitize the hollow center of the tooth, fill it with a material called gutta percha, and seal it closed against all future infection.
By removing the damaged and dangerous portion of the tooth, filling it with a safe material, and sealing it shut, your dentist is able to save your tooth and give you the benefit of retaining your real tooth instead of an implant or denture. As long as you recognize the signs in time, you can receive a root canal and save yourself the pain and hassle of having a dead tooth pulled out.