4 Warning Signs You Need a Root Canal to Save Your Tooth

4 Warning Signs You Need a Root Canal to Save Your Tooth

Every year in the United States, 15 million root canals are performed.

Root canals are recommended when the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected and inflamed. Your dentist cleans out the infected pulp before filling and sealing the tooth. The procedure relieves your pain and saves your natural tooth.

Thanks to anesthesia, a root canal is a relatively painless procedure, but you might be sore for a few days afterward. 

If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in one of your teeth, here are four signs that you may need a root canal, courtesy of Dr. Emmanuel Aguilar and the team at American Dental Clinic in San Diego, California.

1. Persistent and severe pain

Pain that won’t go away is probably the biggest indicator that you need a root canal. You may feel it deep in your tooth, or you may have referred pain in your face or jaw. Your pain may increase when you bite down or chew.

A good rule of thumb is if you can feel your heartbeat in your tooth, it may be time to think about a root canal. 

2. Sensitivity to hot and cold

If your tooth hurts when you drink hot coffee or eat a bowl of ice cream, it’s likely the nerves inside your tooth have become infected or damaged. In that case, you need a root canal to clear them out. The pain or irritation may also linger even after the hot or cold stimulus is gone.

3. Swelling in your gums

Swollen gums near the tooth in question may be another sign you need a root canal. Acidic waste buildup from dead pulp tissue is likely the cause of the swelling. Dead tooth pulp must be cleaned out with a root canal to keep the infection from spreading.

4. Chipped or cracked teeth

Injuries that cause chipped or cracked teeth can expose the nerves underneath the tooth surface. That can cause the nerves to become infected if bacteria make their way through the opening. 

Infection of this sort that isn’t treated with a root canal can enter your bloodstream and travel throughout the body, compromising your overall health.

If you’re experiencing ongoing tooth pain or discomfort, you may need a root canal to save your tooth. Our team at American Dental Clinic can help. Call our San Diego office at 858-215-2951 or use our online scheduler to book your appointment today.

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