Suffering from tooth pain or sensitivity? Many of my patients are concerned about whether or not they will need a serious dental treatment done. I typically recommend a root canal procedure in order to save a badly decayed or infected tooth. Here are signs I tell my patients to look for if they are worried about needing a root canal:
Severe tooth pain that does not subside: Dental pain lasting longer than 6 weeks or increasing in its severity should be seen by a dentist and may require a root canal.
Unusual temperature sensitivity: Tooth pain or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures is a normal response that many adults have throughout their lives, but a prolonged sensation after the hot or cold substance has been removed is a sign something may be wrong. The pain or sensitivity may even be caused by breathing in cold air and could last 15 minutes or longer if the tooth is damaged.
Discoloration: A darkening or discolored tooth is likely dying and may need a root canal.
Gum swelling and tenderness: Gum pain can be associated with many things and may occur if you have a periodontal abscess or recently had dental work done. It is possible there is a more serious problem with the tooth if you have swollen gums around the toothline and find it is irritated by poking or brushing.
Pain from chewing or a raised tooth: If you experience pain from a certain tooth while chewing, you may need a root canal. A bad tooth may cause shooting pain that makes sleeping difficult or is raised up, becoming the only tooth in the row to touch the above teeth.
Gum pimple: You may notice a persistent or recurring pimple on your gums. While these are all common signs that something is very wrong with your tooth, there are not always signs to warn you of a badly decayed tooth. To ensure a healthy mouth and avoid acute dental emergencies, you should have regular check-ups with your dentist. We know you want to avoid bad news, but we can help catch things early, while they are still relatively painless and inexpensive. We are trained to spot and treat decay long before your tooth hurts and needs a more serious procedure to be saved.
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