A root canal treatment involves eliminating bacteria from an infected root canal to prevent reinfection and save the natural tooth. Many people do not know they need a root canal until it is too late and they have to undergo a tooth extraction. Here are some signs you need a root canal.
1. Swollen Gums
If you have swollen gums next to a painful tooth, you need a root canal. Swelling occurs because of the waste products produced by dead pulp tissues. You may also notice a pimple on your gum, also known as a gum boil.
If the pimple is filled with pus, then you have a severe infection. The pus will cause bad breath and an unpleasant taste. Sometimes the pimple disappears and then grows again. Do not drain the pimple, as you could aggravate the problem. Consult an endodontist for an assessment of your gums.
2. Dark Discoloration of The Tooth
Discolored teeth are caused by poor hygiene, taking dark-colored foods and drinks, and nerve damage. For many cases, the dentist may recommend teeth whitening solutions. Alternatively, your dentist may use dental bonding and dental crowns to improve the color of your smile. Veneers are another way to cover the front of the tooth.
However, these treatments don't work for nerve damage because they only address the discoloration and not the underlying condition. In case of nerve damage, the affected tooth will have a gray cast. Your dentist will recommend a root canal to extract the damaged root and clean the internal parts of the affected tooth.
3. Tooth Sensitivity
If you have sensitive teeth, you will feel pain or discomfort after certain triggers. For example, you may experience sensitivity if you take hot or cold drinks or when brushing your teeth. While you can resolve mild sensitivity through better oral hygiene, your dentist will perform a root canal for severe cases.
You may have sensitivity because your tooth's enamel is thin. Your tooth enamel may wear down because of brushing too hard, grinding teeth at night, and eating acidic foods. Sensitivity can also be caused by conditions like gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). This condition causes acid to rise from the stomach through the esophagus and to the teeth.
Conditions like bulimia and gastroparesis also produce acid that affects the enamel. Gum recession, tooth decay, chipped and broken teeth are other causes of tooth sensitivity. A root canal can help relieve the discomfort and pain of tooth sensitivity.