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6 Signs You Need A Root Canal

December 14, 2023
Signs You Need A Root Canal

A root canal is not something that people tend to look forward to. However, it is a tooth-

saving procedure that can restore the health and function of one or more teeth.

Modern root canals don’t take long and cause little to no discomfort during and


If you think you may need a root canal, there are some common symptoms to look for.

1. Toothache.

If your tooth aches or hurts constantly without ceasing, your tooth is most likely infected and will need a root canal. A tooth may become infected if bacteria finds its way into your tooth and infects the dental pulp, the soft tissue at the center of each tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. This can happen due to a deep cavity or a crack in a tooth.

2. Extreme Sensitivity.

A tooth that is extremely sensitive to cold, heat, or sweets may need a root canal. Extreme or prolonged sensitivity in a certain tooth or area of your mouth indicates that the nerves inside the tooth are exposed. This could be due to a deep cavity or a crack in a tooth, which indicates that the tooth is at risk of infection.

3. Discolored Tooth.

If you have a tooth that is a different color than your other teeth, it may need a root canal. An infected or damaged tooth may look gray or brown, and the discoloration seems to be on the inside of the tooth. This may indicate that there is bleeding inside the tooth or that the dental pulp is dead.

4. Swollen Gums.

Swollen gum tissue is a sign of infection. If your gums are swollen in one area, it may mean that you have a tooth that is infected and in need of a root canal. Widespread swollen gums across all of your mouth may indicate gum disease rather than a tooth infection.

5. Abscess on Gums.

An abscess is a raised bump on the gum tissue, often with a white head like a pimple. This is another possible sign of an infected tooth that needs a root canal. However, if there are many abscesses across the gums throughout your mouth, it may be an indication of gum disease rather than a single tooth infection.

6. Cracked Tooth.

In most cases a cracked tooth will need a root canal and a crown. Even a small crack could expose the dental pulp to bacteria. A crown will prevent the crack from worsening and protect the tooth.. 

Benefits of Getting a Root Canal 

It is in the best interest of your dental health to get a root canal when your dentist recommends it. There are significant benefits of root canals, such as:

  • Prevent pain. Getting a root canal before a tooth gets infected can prevent you from experiencing a toothache. 
  • Relieve pain. If you have a toothache, a root canal will eliminate your pain by removing the nerves and infected tissue. 
  • Save your teeth. A root canal can often save a tooth that is severely decayed or damaged. It also prevents a tooth infection from spreading to the other teeth. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals 

Does a root canal hurt?

Local anesthesia is used for root canal therapy to prevent you from feeling any discomfort. The nerves in the area of the affected tooth will be numb so that you won’t feel anything. 

How long does a root canal take? 

A root canal may last anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 at the most. The length of the procedure depends on the size of the tooth and the complexity of the root canal system. Your endodontist will remove all of the dental pulp from the inside of the tooth and fill it with a replacement material that is resistant to infection. A crown will be placed over the tooth in most cases. 

Contact Advanced Endodontics

Advanced Endodontics provides root canal therapy as well as a wide range of endodontic services. To learn more, contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our 6 convenient office locations. 

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