5 Ways to Tell That You May Need a Root Canal


A root canal is a procedure that cleans out decay in the tooth root and pulp. During a root canal procedure, the infected nerve and pulp are removed. Then, the tooth’s interior is cleaned and sealed. A restoration (e.g. a crown or filling) is then placed to restore the tooth anatomy and function. So how do you know if you need a root canal? Here are 5 ways to tell that you may need a root canal.

1. Persistent pain

Severe pain from chewing or biting, or pain in your mouth that doesn't go away (such as when you sleep) can signify an infected or dead tooth. Any unexplained toothache should get checked for an infection as a root canal may be needed.

2. Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity is a common dental problem characterized by a sudden, sharp pain that is aggravated by certain substances or temperatures, but is temporary. However, when the sensitivity lingers long after the hot or cold food or beverage consumption, this may be a sign of inflamed blood vessels or nerves due to infection. Your dentist is likely to recommend a root canal in this case to ease the pain.

3. Swollen gums

If you notice swollen gums or any raised bumps on your gums, this may signify an infected tooth or abscess. The swollen gums are typically painful to touch and the swelling lingers. Inflammation and root canal pain may be to blame that will require treatment with a root canal.

4. Deep decay

Deep decay is the main reason patients need a root canal. When a cavity is neglected for too long and becomes large enough, it can enter your pulp chamber or nerve. If bacteria enters this chamber, it causes pain, and sometimes, an infection. As a result, a root canal is needed to save your tooth and reduce pain.

5. A chipped or cracked tooth

A chipped or cracked tooth may signify that either your tooth got infected after trauma to it, or there is so much decay that it caused the tooth to chip or crack. Either way, a root canal is needed to save the remaining tooth.

It is important to address the root canal because the infection can spread to your bloodstream and cause health issues in other parts of you body. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call our office immediately for an evaluation at (925) 705-7093.

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Tags: dental treatment oral health toothache tooth sensitivity