Dental Symptoms That Could Indicate the Need for a Root Canal

Dental Symptoms That Could Indicate the Need for a Root Canal

According to the American Association of Endodontists, an estimated 15.1 million root canals are performed annually by dentists and endodontists. The procedure involves removing damaged or infected pulp followed by cleaning and sealing off the tooth. This process is known for being quite painful, which is why it is important to know if you need a root canal as soon as possible. Here are the symptoms to pay attention to.


This is the simplest sign that something is wrong: your tooth hurts. If you the pain intensifies when you put pressure on the teeth by biting or chewing, take note. Sometimes the pain is a dull throb and sometimes it hurts more when you stand up or lie down. The pain can even be enough to wake you from sleep! However, sometimes a tooth that needs a root canal may never cause any pain. Regularly visiting your dentist and getting X-rays can help you discover the need for a root canal in these cases.


It hot or cold food elicits an abnormally intense reaction, you might need a root canal. Some people who end up getting root canals report that the sensitivity would last even after they swallowed whatever cold or hot food they were eating.


Small bumps can appear on your gums can be a red flag. These bumps can be small and barely noticeable, or they may be a pronounced abscess. WebMD defines an abscessed tooth as a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of a tooth’s root. Often the area that is inflamed gives your dentist a clue about which tooth is affected. You might even see pus draining from the bump.


Sometimes when a tooth is damaged, it will darken and take on a different shade than the surrounding teeth.


If you notice swelling or redness on your gums, you might need a root canal. If the swelling spread to the cheek or jaw, get into your dentist’s office immediately.

HEADACHE reports that a headache or jaw pain are other possible but not as common symptoms.

*If you experience any of these symptoms persistently, talk to your dentist. Give them as much detail as possible about the symptoms, where it started, how long it has lasted, etc. The more information they have the better diagnosis and treatment they can provide.

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