A root canal is a procedure you might need if the root or pulp of your tooth becomes infected. This procedure can help rescue the integrity of your tooth and prevent the possibility of getting your whole tooth pulled. But what are the signs that you need a root canal?
Downtown Dental Studio is a dental practice in the Financial District, New York City, New York, offering general and cosmetic dentistry. Our providers — Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD — are well-versed in the needs of patients, particularly those requiring procedures like root canals.
The reason for a root canal
Most people have heard of a root canal procedure, but according to a 2020 study, many lack knowledge about it. We perform this procedure at Downtown Dental Studio when the tooth root or pulp has become infected, but the tooth still merits saving.
The procedure requires a few steps. First, we numb the tooth and the area around it. Then, your provider creates a hole in the tooth, which allows them to remove the infected pulp without removing the whole tooth. They then add a solution that replaces the infected pulp, seals the hole, and in most cases, places a crown over the tooth to protect it.
However, if you’re not sure you have the issues a root canal can resolve, it’s time to start looking for the signs of an infection.
Signs you have an infected tooth root or pulp
1. Near constant pain
Sometimes, you might bite down wrong or burn your mouth, and you experience mouth pain for a few days. But when you need a root canal, your tooth hurts constantly. The pain may subside in some cases but not for long.
The pain can be in the tooth itself or deep in the bone beneath your tooth. You may also feel pain in your face, jaw, or surrounding teeth, known as referred pain. You should speak to a dentist immediately if you’re dealing with this discomfort.
Your gums may swell, and you may even notice swelling in your neck and face, a sign that a root canal is needed. The swelling occurs because the infected pulp is oozing waste into your gums. An abscess can also form near the tooth. If you have an abscess leaking pus, contact your provider now.
If you notice one of your teeth is becoming discolored — usually a brown, gray, or black color — you should seek help right away. This discoloration could mean the tooth root has severely decayed and no longer receives blood.
4. Sensitivity to cold and hot
Tooth sensitivity isn’t always a sign of pulp or root infection. But if you notice you’re dealing with any of these issues in addition to sensitivity, you might need to have a root canal.
Sensitivity can happen when you eat or drink something cold or even brush your teeth. Sensitivity occurs because the infection in the tooth makes any sensation stronger. If there is a sharp pain or it lingers long after you’ve irritated the tooth, it’s likely to be tied to an infection.
Do you need a root canal?
If you are dealing with more than one of these symptoms, you could possibly require a root canal. Let us help you find out; call Downtown Dental Studio at 212-964-3337, or book an appointment online today.