Root canal therapy is a procedure to remove an inflamed or infected pulp. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and disinfected thoroughly and finally sealed with a material called gutta-percha. This is done in order to save your tooth and prevent the need for extraction and will either be done over one or two appointments under local anesthetic.
But if you’ve been told you need a root canal it can often come as a shock, so what are the 5 tell-tale warning signs that you may be needing one?
- Persistent pain
If you’re experiencing a persistent, severe toothache, that is further aggravated when you apply pressure to the tooth, such as when eating then it can be a sign of extensive decay. When a cavity is left untreated and the decay reaches the nerve inside the tooth, it causes infection.
- Sensitivity to temperature
Have you noticed that your morning cup of hot coffee is suddenly less enjoyable? Or you have found yourself avoiding cold foods and drink such as ice cream? Sensitivity to temperatures like this, particularly when prolonged even after eating, can be a warning sign that you may be needing a root canal treatment at your next visit due to exposed nerve endings.
- Discolored tooth
Our teeth often slightly discolor over a period of time due to foods we eat and drink or from smoking. However if you notice one of your teeth has become darker or greyer in colour than the rest, it can be an indication of nerve damage within the tooth.
- Pimple on your gum
If you have what looks like a pimple or boil on your gum that either comes and goes or is persistent then this more than likely indicates that you have an infected tooth. This is your body’s way of trying to fight the tooth infection. Even if it’s not painful or seems to resolve itself, the underlying infection will need treating with root canal therapy.
- Swollen and tender gums
When there is tenderness, swelling, or redness around a painful tooth, this signals an infection, however it’s not to be confused with symptoms of gum disease. Although swelling doesn’t occur in every case, if it does happen, it’s more likely to signify nerve trouble when it appears localised at the tip of a painful tooth’s root. You may require antibiotics to stop it spreading.
Remember, not all sensitive teeth need root canal treatment. The only way to know for sure is to come and visit Dr Akinwande for an examination. A diagnosis can then be made by testing whether the tooth nerve is alive or not with a cold spray and by taking an x-ray to look for any possible area of infection. If you are suffering with any of the above symptoms, be sure to give us a call today on (314) 469 6429.