Sometimes a toothache is more than just a toothache – it can often be a sign of an infected dental pulp. If that’s the case, unfortunately it won’t go away with over-the-counter medicine, cold compresses, or patience.
If that toothache persists, it may be time to visit your dentist to see what the root cause could be and if it’s a sign of needing a root canal. In this blog, we will review root canal symptoms: 5 signs you need a root canal.
What is dental pulp?
The pulp of your tooth is in the center of each tooth. This is where the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue are found. The root of the tooth connects to the pulp. If infected pulp is present, it’s a breeding ground for more bacteria to form and cause more severe issues.
What is a root canal?
Many people cringe when they hear the term “root canal,” so we want to demystify that. If a root canal is needed, the infected pulp is removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and then sealed. For patients who feel anxiety around dental procedures or who tend to have a low tolerance for pain, talk with your dentist about options to help you cope with the procedure. Your dental health affects your overall health, and these preventative measures are too important to risk future, long-term health issues.
5 signs a toothache may indicate a root canal is needed
So how do you tell the difference between a toothache that will pass from one that’s indicative of a possibly more severe infection? Here are some common symptoms that may be signs you need a root canal.
1. Severe toothache, especially when chewing or biting
The key factor here is when the pain is felt deep in your tooth, often radiating to other parts of your face, and comes and goes frequently for extended periods of time. This could indicate that a root canal may be needed.
2. Extreme and prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold temperature
It’s not uncommon that every once in a while extreme food or drink temperatures may cause a little twinge or two. What is less common is when that “twinge feeling” is prolonged and consistent.
3. Tooth discoloration with your tooth becoming darker
While perhaps your teeth are not as pearly white as you would hope, having a single tooth with severe discoloration could be a sign that there is something more serious going on than simply drinking too much coffee or red wine. If you have consistent pain and begin to notice a grayish-black coloring on your tooth, this is often the sign of dying dental pulp that needs to be removed through a root canal.
4. Pimple-like sores on your gums
These gum pimples are also known as gum boils, parulises, or abscesses. Just as you can get pimples on other parts of your body, the pimples on our gums may ooze. You may also notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth as well as bad breath.
5. Tender and swollen gums
Keep in mind the swelling may spread beyond your gums and to other areas of your face and neck, so keep a close watch.
Top Root Canal Dentist in Miami, Florida
If you think you are in need of a root canal or are experiencing dental pain, contact Dr. Lawrence Lesperance and his experienced team of dental professionals in Miami, Florida.
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