Let’s crack the crusty enamel and get down to business. The outermost layer of the teeth is the enamel. It is a tough, white material composed mostly of calcium phosphate. Underneath the enamel is the dentin, which can become sensitive to hot or cold temperatures if damaged. Below the dentin is the pulp, a chamber full of nerves and blood vessels. At the root of the tooth is the cementum, which holds the tooth in place in the gums.
When a tooth’s root becomes inflamed or infected, it results in one or more of these eight signs, signaling the need for a root canal ASAP:
Abscesses are pockets of pus that appear as dark spots on an x-ray. It is caused when an infection develops in the jawbone, and the body cannot grow new bone around it. Your dentist can detect an abscess during a routine dental check-up and x-ray.
If you find any lumps on your gums, it could signify you need a root canal on one or more of your teeth. These protrusions can appear like small pimples and are medically referred to as a fistula.
Chipped or Cracked Teeth
A chipped or cracked tooth is a sign that something is wrong with the tooth, and it probably needs a root canal. This could be because the tooth was damaged from an accident or due to decay or infection. In either case, a root canal may be necessary to try and save the tooth.
The gums surrounding your teeth can become discolored or dark if they decay due to infection or other problems. This discoloration is a warning; you may need a root canal to save the tooth.
Heat or Cold Sensitivity
Sensitivity to hot and cold can occur without needing a root canal. However, for those who do need a root canal, the pain and discomfort from hot and cold can last for a long time after ingesting drinks or food.
Any discomfort in your mouth should be brought to your dentist’s attention. If you experience sudden, intense pain like a wave, this could indicate the need for a root canal. Do certain movements of your jaw or head results in more pain? Does the pain increase when you lie down or bend down? These could be signs that root canal therapy may be necessary.
Gums swollen and tender to the touch may indicate an infection in the mouth. Swelling of the gums can be caused by brushing or flossing too hard, but if the swelling persists and is accompanied by pain, there is likely an infection present.
Just like bumpiness, swelling, or discoloration, if your gums are feeling sore or sensitive, even without being touched, you may be experiencing pain related to a root canal. Make sure to tell your dentist about this when you visit them.
Don’t Ignore Any of These Signs; Get a Root Canal Now
Call your dentist when you sense pain, gum abnormalities, or even an unnatural sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. Chances are your dentin’s infected or inflamed, requiring you to get a root canal right away before it worsens.
Book an Appointment at Southborough Dental Partners
At Southborough Dental Partners, Drs. Al Khateeb and Ali Alrubaye provide dental treatments for your entire family with services such as exams, cleanings, teeth whitening, and root canals, to name a few. Schedule your appointment now by calling (508) 357-8880!