Root canals are performed to fight infection, alleviate pain, and hopefully save the tooth from needing to be removed. During a root canal, the dentist will clean out the canal of the tooth, where the nerve and blood vessels reside, and fill it with material to stabilize the tooth. There are certain signs that may indicate the need for a root canal.
Pain While Eating or Drinking
If you cannot eat or drink foods that you love because the pain they produce is overpowering, it may be time for a root canal. The pressure of chewing your food can cause lingering discomfort and may lead you to favor one side of the mouth over the other. The pain you are feeling is due to an infection or decay close to the nerve in the tooth. When decay exposes the nerve, pain ensues. A root canal will remove the nerve and end the pain you are feeling. It is important to see your dentist right way to treat the issue so that the tooth can be salvaged.
Sensitivity to Heat
A common symptom that indicates the need for a root canal is sensitivity to heat. If drinking that first cup of coffee in the morning makes you cringe, it is time to see your dentist. The tooth may have decay close to the nerve of the tooth, or may have an infection in the canal. When this occurs, extreme sensitivity to heat may be noticed. Typically, the sensitivity lingers even after the food or drink is taken away. Your dentist will be able to detect if root canal therapy is needed.
Small Bump on the Gum
A small, pimple-like bump on the gums near the tooth may indicate an abscess, or infection. The bump itself is a pocket of pus that forms. Usually this accompanies a toothache or sensitivity. It is important to get this looked at immediately so that the infection does not spread to other teeth, or to the jawbone. A tooth abscess can even lead to other complications, like sepsis. Sometimes, if the abscess breaks open and drains, pain is relieved. However, the infection is still present and needs to be treated right away. Dentists like Kyle J. Frisinger, DMD may be able to save the tooth with root canal therapy.
When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected, the tooth may become discolored. When the nerve of the tooth becomes infected, it can release certain toxins or gasses that may turn the tooth an unflattering color. If the nerve is infected, a root canal may be necessary in order to save the tooth.
No one should have to feel pain or discomfort while eating or drinking. Food should be enjoyed, not simply tolerated. If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity in your teeth, you should see your dentist right away to resolve the issue.