5 Signs Your Tooth Might Need A Root Canal 

The term “Root Canal” may be among the most dreaded phrases known to people all around the world.   Patients often come to our clinics with fear in their eyes as they anxiously post the question: 

“Do I need a root canal?”  

Truth be told, almost all patients who actually go through with a root canal tell us that “it wasn’t bad.” Why you may ask? Well, for patients, it’s a rather straightforward procedure as they are completely anesthetised, it takes only about an hour and they leave our clinic feeling considerably better than when they came in suffering from immense pain.

What is involved? 

Simply put, the root canal procedure disinfects the roots of the teeth.  When the nerves inside a tooth are either infected, not functioning normally, or have any other irreversible damage, they should be removed completely from the tooth.  The root canal procedure removes all the tissue inside of the roots and the tooth roots are subsequently disinfected and sealed, preventing future bacteria from cohabiting the area inside of the tooth.

In this article, we’ll explore five signs you might want to look out for if you’re wondering whether you require root canal treatment or not. 

1: You Have Identified a Pimple Like Blister next to Your Tooth

This “pimple” appearing near the affected tooth is called a Fistula.  When the tooth is infected, the infection may find a way to drain through the gums which creates what we call a ‘fistula’.  

The tooth often does not hurt because the infection has drained and the nerve inside the tooth has died off.  The root canal procedure will disinfect the tooth helping this fistula to heal.  Often a prescription for antibiotics is needed to remove the infection completely.

2. A Deep Tooth Cavity

Once a tooth cavity penetrates into the nerve, a root canal is most definitely needed.  The bacteria from the tooth cavity entering the nerve chamber infects the nerve tissue.  This often causes pain, necessitating an emergency root canal procedure for relief.  

Sometimes if the nerve dies off quickly, the patient doesn’t feel pain as the infection grows inside of the tooth.  At this point, it’s too late to save the tooth with a dental filling because the nerve is infected by the tooth cavity

It’s recommended to visit the dentist every six months for a routine check-up to catch cavities early. This will determine over time whether a root canal is actually required and to keep your overall oral hygiene in optimal condition.

3. Severe Tooth Pain

Is your tooth throbbing frequently or when you lay down to go to sleep? Are you finding that pain medications like Aspirin or Advil are not helping the pain?  In many cases, the only way to relieve pain in this situation may be by undergoing a root canal procedure on a tooth.  This pain is typically severe enough to prompt even the most reluctant patients to visit an emergency dentist

4. Severe Prolonged Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Foods or Beverages

Lingering sensitivity to hot and/or cold food or beverages lasting for 15 seconds or longer indicates there’s usually irreversible damage to the nerve tissue inside of the tooth.  More often than not, this means a root canal is necessary to remove the affected nerve tissue.

5. Swollen or Painful Gums

Swollen gums usually suggest the presence of some type of bacterial infection.  This could be a gum infection like gingivitis or periodontitis.  Gum abscesses could also be caused by an infection from the tooth. 

Though swollen gums don’t necessarily indicate that a root canal is needed, an abscess may in fact form in the gums when an infection is present.  At Coolangatta Dental Group, our dental practitioner will be able to determine the source of infection for the swollen gums so your best bet is to come in for a consultation to understand what your best course of action is.  

Visiting the dentist is a part of life and fortunately, the more you tend to your oral health by visiting your dentist regularly, the easier and more cost-effective it will be in the long run. 

The good news is, you don’t have to live with tooth pain and there is always a solution to whatever you may be experiencing. So, be sure to ask your selected dentist at Coolangatta Dental Group for advice if you are experiencing any sort of painful or concerning symptoms. Contact the team at any of our clinics today to make an appointment.