It can be difficult knowing if you need a root canal, sort of like trying to figure out if you need a filling. Although there are a few definitive signs, some of them can only be determined by a dentist. For most people, physical symptoms don’t start until the problem with a tooth has become more advanced. This is why it is important to see your dentist in Saratoga, CA regularly.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure used by dentists as an alternative to tooth extraction. The procedure repairs a tooth so it can be saved. It is often needed for teeth that have become infected or one that is badly decayed. During the root canal, the dentist:
· Extract bacteria and decay from the pulp.
· Disinfects the entire area with antibiotics.
· Fills empty tooth roots.
· Seals the area so new decay can’t occur.
A root canal leaves a natural tooth in its place and helps prevent further decay from occurring. However, the tooth will be more fragile following the procedure. For this reason, a tooth that has undergone a root canal is often covered using a dental crown.
Common Signs You May Need a Root Canal
The only way to know for sure if your tooth would benefit from a root canal is to visit your dentist. Here are a few symptoms that may indicate you need a root canal. If you have one or more of them, it’s important to get treatment quickly.
Persistent Tooth Pain
Persistent pain in a tooth is one sign you may need a root canal. It may be constant pain, or it may come and go. Sometimes the pain feels like it is deep inside the tooth. But the pain may also be in the jaw, face, or in other teeth. There are also other reasons for tooth pain that may not indicate a root canal is necessary. Pain can also be caused by:
· Sinus infections
· A filling that has become damaged
· Impacted tooth
No matter what causes your pain, it is an indication you need to see your dentist in Saratoga, CA. The earlier a problem is identified and treated, the better the outcome.
Teeth are Sensitive to Hot and Cold Temperatures
A tooth in need of a root canal often hurts when you consume different temperatures. If you have a tooth that bothers you if you eat ice cream, drink ice water, or hot coffee. Sensitivity may be dull or sharp. Sometimes, the pain lingers even after you have stopped eating or drinking.
When gums swell close to a tooth that is already causing you pain, it may be a sign that you need a root canal. Swelling can show up and then just go away. It may also be tender when it is touched. Sometimes, it will not be painful to touch. This type of swelling is caused when acidic waste is put off by dead pulp tissue and it is forced to an area outside the root tip area. It may look like a little pimple. It may ooze pus coming from the infected tooth. You may also experience bad breath or an unpleasant taste.
Once an area of deep decay has affected a tooth, you can’t brush, floss, or rinse your mouth enough to fix it. When a cavity goes for too long it can spread to the root and nerve of the tooth. In these cases, a root canal may be the only option before the tooth is covered with a crown.
Contact Your Saratoga Dental Professional
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule an exam with your dentist in Saratoga, CA. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner the tooth will feel better. Call us today to schedule your exam.