Having a toothache can be frustratingly painful. It can disrupt your normal daily functioning and routine. A visit to your dentist may end up in them recommending a root canal treatment for you.
So What is a Root Canal Exactly?
A root canal is a procedure that a dentist performs to eliminate bacteria and repair a tooth that has been infected by bacteria. This infection leads to bad decaying and manifests in pain among other symptoms. The procedure involves removing of the tooth pulp that has been infected and damaged, thoroughly cleaning the inside of the tooth, and then filling and sealing it.
The tooth pulp gets impaired due to irritation or inflammation that results from factors like tooth decay, a chipped tooth, or facial trauma. As a result of the damage, the tooth pulp gets infected with bacteria and at times forms an abscess.
What are the Tell-tale Signs that You Need a Root Canal Procedure?
1. Constant Tooth Pain
Sharp and severe pain in your tooth is a sure warning sign that you may need to have a root canal procedure. Tooth decay affects the pulp chamber which is the home of your tooth nerve endings.
This pain is especially acute when pressure is applied to the tooth like when chewing food. There are other dental issues that may cause toothache but this one is noticeably different because it tends to radiate to the full jaw and other teeth.
2. Heat and Cold Sensitivity
You may notice that your tooth is sentient of hot drinks or cold deserts. This kind of sensitivity that lingers may indicate that the nerves in your tooth are infected. The sensitivity takes the form of a sharp or dull ache.
3. Swollen Gums
A puffy or tender gum may indicate that your tooth is infected. However, you must be aware that engaging in some activities for example flossing or using a toothbrush with hard bristles may leave your gum swollen.
Other reasons why you may experience swollen gum include gingivitis and injuries in your mouth. An indication that your gum is swollen as a result of an infected tooth is that the swelling tends to remain until the tooth is treated. The gum also tends to swell only around the infected tooth, which is an indicator that you may need a root canal.
4. Gum Sores
Bumps on your gum are an indication that your tooth is infected and probably has an abscess. They appear on the surface beneath the gum line and look like the regular pimples that appear on your face. The gum sores start to leak infected fluid into your mouth from the infection and this leads to even more pain. In such a scenario, a root canal will be the only solution to relieve your pain and stop the infection from spreading.
5. A Cracked or Chipped Tooth
A cracked tooth or a tooth that gets broken or knocked out should be treated as a dental emergency. This is mostly because despite this being a physical injury, the core of the tooth may have experienced trauma. This trauma can lead to exposure of the pulp chamber to saliva and this can lead to an infection. Having a cracked tooth over time will definitely necessitate a root canal procedure.
6. Jaw Trauma
An open wound on your jaw exposes your teeth to infection-leading bacteria. This is because your jaw has blood vessels that feed into each tooth through the pulp chamber. Even after your jaw is treated, following up with your dentist allows you to know if there is a need for a root canal to be done.
7. Tooth Discoloration
A grey or black-looking tooth is a sign of decay or a dead tooth. A dead tooth harbours bacteria that decompose your pulp chamber. This may be a sign that you need a root canal.
Consulting a Dentist about Root Canal
Being on the lookout for these early warning signs is crucial. However, if you’re from the Fleet, it is also important to seek a professional opinion from Fleet dentists who are able to determine whether a root canal procedure is really necessary. In case you are not sure if your tooth is infected, seek immediate medical attention.