For one reason or another, root canals have acquired a bad reputation over the years - though they are much more common and routine than you may think. See, when decay is left to make its way through the enamel and to the inside pulp-area of the tooth, a root canal is needed to rid it of the infection. And when the procedure is done, your tooth can be restored to its natural appearance with full functionality.
Root canals shouldn’t be feared, but rather sought. Whether you are at the dentist for a routine checkup or you are experiencing symptoms, a thorough oral evaluation and a few X-rays can help to determine whether a root canal is the best course of treatment.
So, how do you know if you need one? Here are 3 signs you need a root canal treatment.
Spontaneous Tooth Pain
Patients in need of a root canal describe their tooth pain as severe. It is often throbbing - and over-the-counter pain medication doesn’t seem to help. Or, if it does, the pain comes right back once it wears off. The reason for this is that the decay has made its way into the pulp - and this is a highly sensitive area.
The sooner this can be addressed with a root canal, the sooner you will be able to find relief.
Lingering Tooth Sensitivity
Another common sign that a root canal may be needed is tooth sensitivity - also known as dentin hypersensitivity. Some patients have sensitive teeth all the time. But, if you find your tooth or the surrounding area to suddenly cause you a sharp, intense sensation when coming in contact with cold or hot temperatures, you could be dealing with an ailing pulp. The sensitivity can stem from the temperature of foods, beverages, or even outside air.
It is important to note that tooth sensitivity does not always mean a root canal is necessary so seeing the dentist is a great idea.
You may or may not be able to notice the swelling caused by your infected tooth. Sometimes you can feel a slightly swollen area along the gumline. Or, for more severe infections, you may have swelling on your face or even the neck. Without treatment, the infection can spread and grow - and so can the swelling. And often requires antibiotics.
If you notice any swollen areas in or around your mouth, jaw, or neck, it is important to seek the help of your dentist as soon as possible.
Root Canal Treatment
It is so important to take action when you experience any of these symptoms - or if something just doesn't feel right. The tooth decay will continue to eat its way through the tooth and into the jaw bone. The infection can even make its way into the bloodstream - and throughout the body. A timely root canal procedure can remove the dangerous infection and help restore your natural tooth.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, the Dental Associates of Lodi can help. We offer high-quality dental services - including root canals - to help our patients find healing and achieve a great level of oral hygiene.