It can be difficult during the early stages of a tooth issue to know if better oral hygiene efforts can solve the problem, or if dental work is required. Physical symptoms usually don’t start until the problem has become more advanced, which is why it’s so important to see your dentist regularly. Left untreated, tooth decay can escalate quickly, and an infected tooth leaves you susceptible to needing a root canal.
Here are 5 early warning signs that you may need an emergency root canal.
Persistent and Progressive Pain
Experiencing tooth pain that persists for more than a few days, or pain that is progressively getting worse could indicate a pulp infection. Tooth pain that comes on suddenly is another possible sign; however, discomfort can also be caused by other dental concerns. Just because you are experiencing pain in a tooth doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a root canal. Many signs can only be determined by a trained dentist.
Dark Discoloration of a Tooth
A discolored tooth can indicate that nerve or blood vessel damage has occurred. Oftentimes, this type of tooth discoloration can be described as a darkening of the tooth’s overall coloring. Tooth discoloration can also be a result of poor oral hygiene, consuming highly pigmented substances, and a side effect of taking certain prescribed antibiotics.
Sensitivity to Heat or Cold
Experiencing a dull ache in the jaw bone is a result of tooth sensitivity. In general, tooth sensitivity is associated with hot and cold temperatures, as well as after consuming certain foods or beverages that contain excess sugar. Your teeth may also feel sensitive to pressure from biting or chewing. Tooth sensitivity that lasts for weeks or months without improvement should never be tolerated or left untreated. If sensitivity continues and is affecting your day-to-day routine, it could mean a root canal is in your near future. A root canal performed by your dentist can eliminate any sensitivity and keep contamination from spreading.
Swollen or inflamed gum tissue is typically the result of an infection. In some cases, gums may swell or develop raised bumps. If the infection is inside a tooth, it is likely that a root canal will be necessary to reduce the swelling. There are also other common causes of gum swelling, including gingivitis, so your dentist will need to perform a thorough examination to determine the cause of the swelling.
When the structure of a tooth becomes compromised by a crack or chip, the tooth is suddenly at a higher risk for developing an infection. Teeth can get chips or cracks from eating hard foods, being involved in contact sports, or if previous dental work goes awry. Depending on the extent of the damage, the nerve may be exposed to bacteria, and if an infection forms, a root canal will be needed.
Do These Signs Sound Familiar?
If you suspect that you have a dental issue that will need to be resolved with a root canal, it’s always best to contact your dentist right away. Root canals get a bad reputation for being painful, but they are extremely common and don’t have to be a scary experience with the right dentist. Most patients state that their damaged tooth was more painful than the actual root canal procedure, and while you can expect to feel some minor aches or sensitivity, these small discomforts will subside.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or if you have any questions about these warning signs, contact Premier Dental Center. Our friendly and professional staff is happy to help you with any dental concerns that you have, so contact us today!