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4 Warning Signs You May Need a Root Canal

4 Warning Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Our teeth take center stage every time we smile, so it’s easy to focus entirely on appearance alone. However, there’s more to a tooth than meets the eye — and that’s when a root canal comes into play.

A tooth has several layers. On the very outside, you find a hard enamel exterior. This protective layer protects a layer of dentin and a soft inner core that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The core extends all the way into the root of the tooth, which holds the entire structure in place in your jawbone.

When you need a root canal, it’s because decay reaches the delicate core of your tooth, causing it to grow infected, inflamed, or even die. 

Our team at The Dental Touch Oakland in Oakland, California, performs root canal procedures to remove decay from inside an infected tooth. This process helps clear up any infection, prevent further decay, and preserve your natural tooth for the years to come.

Here are four common signs you have a problem with your tooth that could require a root canal.

1. Persistent pain

An obvious sign of a tooth problem involves pain. 

Tooth pain can vary, but it often develops deep in the bone of the tooth or causes referred pain in the jaw, face, or other teeth. It’s also common to experience discomfort when you eat or touch the tooth.

In most cases, this symptom remains constant, but it can seem to improve periodically, only to resume again. 

2. Sensitivity to hot and cold

Do you have a dull ache or sharp pain when your tooth gets exposed to hot or cold temperatures? Whether this occurs when eating, drinking, or opening your mouth on a cold winter day, it could be a sign of damage or infection to the blood vessels or nerves inside your tooth.

Tooth sensitivity doesn’t always require a root canal. However, if the discomfort lingers, even when there’s no more exposure to heat or cold, it could be necessary.

3. Tooth damage or discoloration

If you have cracked, broken, or chipped your tooth, it leaves the delicate inner structure vulnerable to bacteria and infection. Similarly, changes to the internal tissue of a tooth can cause discoloration.

Whether you’ve sustained damage to a tooth in an accident or by chewing, schedule a dental exam to assess the structure to avoid future issues — especially if your tooth becomes discolored. 

4. Swollen gums or looseness in the tooth

Swollen gums and loose teeth can indicate several dental issues, including gum disease. However, they can also be a sign of decay and dead pulp tissue inside your tooth.

You could need a root canal if you have gum swelling near a painful tooth, especially if you notice a small pimple in the area. These growths, known as parulis, gum boils, or abscesses, can also ooze pus, causing bad breath and a foul taste in the mouth.

At the end of the day, only your dentist can determine if you need a root canal. Fortunately, if you need this procedure, it’s a general dental treatment and today’s technology means they come with little to no pain.

Are you having problems with a tooth? Don’t wait to find solutions. Contact The Dental Touch to schedule a consultation by calling 510-244-2737 or booking a visit online today.

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