Do You Need A Root Canal For A Tooth?

Are you having a problem with a tooth and wondering if it needs a root canal? If so, it will help to know what the potential warning signs are. 

Hot And Cold Sensitivity

Pay attention to how the tooth feels when you drink a hot or cold beverage. If you feel a prolonged shooting pain in the tooth that doesn't go away immediately when you stop drinking the beverage, this is a sign that you may need a root canal. 

While normal hot and cold sensitivity will happen to most people, short lasting discomfort is usually a sign of receding gums, light tooth decay, or issues with teeth grinding where the enamel has worn thin. Those other problems could require some dental work, but not a root canal.

Deep Decay

Any tooth that has deep decay within is a potential tooth at risk of needing a root canal. If the decay manages to reach the tooth pulp, it is possible that the pulp will become infected and require a root canal to fix it. 

Tooth decay can reach the point where it causes pain that comes on suddenly and never goes away. The decay may not be giving you any signs that there is a cavity, and all of the sudden the pain hits you and is persistent. That is why it is so important to go to the dentist regularly and to investigate dental problems early. Many root canals can be avoided by getting a cavity filled before it reaches the pulp of the tooth. 

Discolored Teeth

A tooth often becomes discolored due to trauma, which is from the nerve being crushed and disrupting the blood vessels of the tooth. You may have suffered a sports injury where a tooth was hit, or been in some other sort of accident where your tooth took on part of the impact. Wearing a mouth guard during sports can definitely prevent this from happening to you and prevent the need for a sports injury related root canal.

Gum Abscess

Do you have swelling in your gums and pain in that area when chewing? This is the sign of a dental abscess that is caused by bacteria that has traveled from the root of the tooth. An abscess is a problem that requires immediate attention, because the infection can spread to other parts of your body and get into the bloodstream if it continues to be ignored.