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How Do You Know You Need a Root Canal?

The term “root canal” refers to both the inner part of the teeth where the pulp is located and also to the multistep restorative dental procedure to remove infected material, relieve pain, and seal it to protect against future root canal pain. A root canal may also involve removing the nerve for the infected tooth. Don’t be too worried! The nerves of the teeth are not essential to healthy teeth function and don’t serve any purpose beyond sensing hot and cold. Removing the infected nerves is standard procedure to treat tooth pain involved with deep decay or infection in the tooth pulp.

Although root canals have a reputation for being painful, they’re often described as feeling the same as a routine filling and it may be just what you need to feel better. If you are suffering from severe tooth pain caused by decay or infection in the tooth pulp, you may need a root canal. Here’s what you need to know:

Signs You May Need a Root Canal:

  • Severe toothache while eating or when you apply pressure to the area.
  • Teeth pain and/or sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers.
  • Discoloration of the tooth, often darkening.
  • Small, pimple-like pumps on the gums near the affected area.
  • Swelling or tenderness of the gums near the affected tooth.

How Did This Happen?

The following can cause an infection in the tooth pulp:

  • Decay: When tooth decay has spread all the way through the surface layers of the tooth and into the deepest layer, the pulp.
  • Damage: Cracks or chips in teeth can cause tooth decay and root canal pain.
  • Repeated dental procedures: Multiple fillings in the same area can increase the likelihood of bacteria reaching the tooth pulp and causing decay and infection.

To learn more, visit our root canal page. An untreated infection in tooth pulp can lead to an abscess or even a fracture, so it’s important to make an appointment at Wildflower Dental & Orthodontics and have Dr. Walkington look at your teeth if you notice any of these symptoms.

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