Is a Root Canal Right for You? Understanding the Signs & Symptoms in Langley

Is a Root Canal Right for You? Understanding the Signs

When it comes to tooth decay, most people think of cavities and plaque buildup. However, in more serious cases of tooth decay, you may need to do more than get your cavities filled. In those serious cases, the tooth decay has advanced enough to reach the dental pulp at the centre of the tooth. At that point, you need a root canal to clean out the infected pulp. The real question is, how do you know when you’ve reached that point? That’s what this guide is here to teach you. Read on to find out the ins and outs of a root canal, and what signs will tell you you need one yourself.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure intended to clean out decay in the pulp and root of your tooth. The outer layer of your teeth is made of enamel, followed by a layer of dentin, underneath which is the core that extends into the root and jawbone. That core contains the pulp, consisting of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, it can get inflamed or infected. This is the stage at which a root canal becomes necessary.

During a root canal, your dentist extracts bacteria and decay from your tooth, as well as disinfecting the area and sealing it to prevent future infection. With a root canal, it’s possible to preserve a tooth and prevent future decay, which is important for preserving your tooth structure. Sometimes, it’s possible to save your tooth (and preserve the surrounding tissue), which is something to consider if you’re ever torn between choosing a root canal or a tooth extraction.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

A root canal is a procedure for when infection gets particularly advanced, and so it’s vital you be aware of what signs indicate you need one. Keep this list of symptoms in mind so you know when it’s definitely time to visit the dentist.

1. Persistent Pain

Persistent pain is a common sign of an underlying problem with your teeth. Sometimes, the pain may bother you all the time, or it might go away for a while before returning again. The pain may occur in the bone, or it might emanate from the face or jaw, or in your other teeth. Keep in mind that toothaches may be caused by other issues than a tooth infection. In any case, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist to learn the cause of the pain. Early diagnosis and treatment of the issue, whatever it may be, are the best ways to minimize harm and increase the chances of preserving your tooth.

2. Pain When Eating

Tooth sensitivity is a common sign of problems with the teeth, and that’s especially true if you suspect severe tooth decay. Tooth sensitivity usually manifests as pain when you touch the tooth or when you try to eat with it. One particular sign of an issue is when the sensitivity persists over time and doesn’t go away even when you’ve stopped eating.

Sensitivity to heat and cold is often a sign of oral health issues

3. Sensitivity to Heat and Cold

Does it especially hurt when you eat ice cream or drink coffee? In some cases, even drinking ice-cold water can trigger the pain. Sensitivity to heat and cold are often clear indications that you have a problem. The pain may either feel like a dull ache or a sharp pain. Take note if the pain lingers for a long time, even after you’ve stopped eating or drinking. In many cases, the pain is a sign that the blood vessels and nerves in the pulp are infected or damaged, making it imperative you see the dentist immediately.

4. Tooth Discolouration

One common sign of tooth infection is discolouration in the tooth. Trauma to a tooth or a breakdown in the internal tissue can damage the tooth’s roots and cause it to turn grayish-black. Tooth pulps can also die in case of damage to the blood vessels. This also discolours the tooth, and indicates you have a problem. In case of tooth discolouration, it’s prudent to visit the dentist. This isn’t just to get treatment for a potentially dangerous infection. Discolouration may be caused by other factors, so it’s a good idea to let your dentist take a look to find out exactly what’s causing it.

Visit your dentist immediately in case of swollen gums

5. Swollen Gums

When something goes wrong with the teeth, the gums often feel it too. If your tooth is painful and the nearby gums swell, it may be an indicator of a serious problem. Take note of how the swelling behaves. Sometimes, it may come and go, or it may or may not be painful. Another thing to watch for is a little pimple on your gum. This is an abscess, and is an indicator of a serious infection. The abscess may leak pus, which produces an unpleasant taste and affects your breath, which are more symptoms to keep in mind if you think you may need a root canal.

Your health is always important, dental health most of all. Dental health is tied to your general health, and taking care of your teeth and gums is a great way to stay healthy overall. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, visit your dentist right away to get a diagnosis and the treatment you need to address your problem.

When you need a dentist you can trust, visit Township Dental Centre. We offer a wide range of dental services, and compassionate care to go with it. We’ll take care of your teeth, and look after your peace of mind while we’re at it. Give us a call now at (604) 533-8475 to schedule your appointment.